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J. Scott Kreamer, Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice, LLC, Kansas City, MO, assumed the position of FDCC President-Elect during the Annual Meeting in Quebec. Earlier this year, Scott obtained a favorable appellate ruling affirming the entry summary judgment for an insurer client in an uninsured motorist coverage case. Wise v. Savers Property & Casualty Insurance Co., Mo. App. SD33715.  In the case, an employee’s claim against his co-employee was excluded from the liability policy’s coverage.  The claimant then asserted that because the liability claim had been denied he was owed uninsured motorist coverage under the same policy, and was entitled to “stack” that coverage by the number of vehicles in the employer’s fleet.  The Court of Appeals for the Southern District of Missouri affirmed summary judgment granted in favor of the insurer on the grounds that the vehicle was not uninsured. 



Heidi G. Goebel, Goebel Anderson PC, Salt Lake City, Utah, recently won an arbitration involving a contractual dispute between a gas and oil industry transportation broker and one of its suppliers.  After briefing and a full evidentiary hearing, the arbitrator denied the broker’s multi-million dollar damage claim for breach of contract and back solicitation.  Additionally, the broker’s attempt to force the supplier to remove its liens on the oil well were dismissed.    Further, Heidi’s client was awarded the full amount of its counterclaim plus interest resulting in an award just shy of $500,000. 

Jane M. Lynch, Green & Green, Dayton, OH, recently obtained a big win for self-insured construction companies in Ohio.  On April 19,2016, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision in Stolz v. J & B Steel Erectors, Inc., Slip Opinion No. 2016 - Ohio- 1567, granting subcontractors enrolled in a self-insured worker's compensation plan on a large construction project immunity from injury suits from other enrolled subcontractor employees. The construction project was covered under a wrap insurance plan that included the self-insured worker's compensation certificate for the general contractor. This is a big win for self insured construction companies using Ohio Rev. Code 4123.35(O). Jane represented the general contractor that held the self-insured Certificate. 

Lana OlsonLightfoot, Franklin & White, LLCBirmingham, Alabama, obtained a defense verdict for U-Haul Co. of Texas in a jury trial in Hahnville, Louisiana.  Plaintiff claimed debilitating back injuries and over $1 million in damages after he was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler while using a U-Haul tow dolly. Plaintiff claimed that the tow dolly lights were defective and that U-Haul did not provide him with verbal warnings about the need for additional lighting on the vehicle being towed.  After hearing the case, the jury returned a verdict in favor of U-Haul.


Jeff Puryear, Womack Phelps Puryear Mayfield & McNeil, P.A., Jonesboro, Arkansas, obtained a defense verdict in a recent medical malpractice trial.  The plaintiff was diagnosed with an anal fissure and the defendant general surgeon performed surgery.  Following surgery, the plaintiff continued to complain of severe pain, so the defendant recommended that the plaintiff have a repeat surgery.  Five months later, the plaintiff saw another surgeon who repeated the surgery, which resolved her symptoms.  The subsequent surgeon claimed that the defendant never performed the initial surgery.  The plaintiff relied upon that physician’s testimony and her own expert to allege negligence in the performance of the surgery, lack of informed consent and negligent care post-operatively.  One of the defenses to the case was that the surgery carried certain risks, namely no improvement or worsening of symptoms; and although the procedure has a very high success rate, there was no guarantee of a successful outcome, even though the surgery was performed properly.  

Terence Ridley, Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell, LLP, Denver, CO, won summary judgment for a property insurer in Colorado in a bad faith lawsuit of importance to the insurance industry.  In Burnham v. Allstate Indemnity Co., the trial court ruled that a breach of contract by the insurer is a prerequisite to asserting a bad faith claim. Finding that Allstate complied with its property loss appraisal procedure in connection with a hail claim, the court found that because there was no breach of contract, there could be no statutory claim for penalties. The court dismissed the plaintiff’s case. The summary judgment is of particular significance in Colorado, where there is widespread litigation against insurers under a state statute that provides for attorney fees and “twice the covered benefit” when an insurer is found to have unreasonably delayed or denied payment of a claim.


Do you have a triumph to share? Send a brief summary and a recent photograph to Scott Salter at ssalter@starneslaw.com


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