E&O Weekly Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
August 28, 2014
Agents of America

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AOA News, Views, Tips & More

E&O Tip on Sales Skills and E&O Loss Prevention? 



Recent Decision Provides Opportunity to Strengthen Bad Faith Defenses

By Christopher J. Tellner, Esq. of Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP


A recent trial court discovery opinion further enlarges what is discoverable in Pennsylvania coverage actions, especially those containing bad faith allegations. This decision reminds insurance carriers of a growing trend that increases the scope of discovery in insurance coverage litigation as well as the need to establish a factual record early on in claims investigation in order to defeat breach of contract and bad faith allegations. To view the decision, click here.


By Devin C. Maddox, Esq. of Tressler LLP


An insurer providing employment practices liability (EPL) coverage was entitled to summary judgment and a declaration it owed no coverage for a default judgment entered against its insured when the insurer first received notice of the claim almost two years after the claims made and reported policy expired. LeCuyer v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, 02-CV-12-7012 (Minn. Ct. App. July 14, 2014).


U.S. Supreme Court Issues Important Decision Affecting Fiduciaries of ESOPs

By Emily A. Hayes, of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP


In a recent decision, Fifth Third Bankcorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 189 L.Ed. 2d 457 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the "presumption of prudence" previously given to fiduciaries of employee-owned stock ownership plans (ESOPs) by many circuits, including the Second Circuit in In re Citigroup ERISA Litig., 662 F.3d 128 (2d Cir. 2011). In so doing, the Court held that ESOP fiduciaries are subject to the same presumption of prudence that applies to ERISA fiduciaries in general. However, the Court also set forth special considerations that apply to ESOP fiduciaries and that should be used by courts in determining whether a complaint states a claim when evaluating a motion to dismiss. As a result, the impact of the decision may not be as dramatic as it first appears.

California Supreme Court Finds that Architect has a Duty of Care that Extends to Future Purchasers of Condominiums

By Donald O'Brien, Esq. of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP


Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Slip Opinion S208173 (July 3, 2014).

Defendants were two architectural firms that provided architectural and engineering services for a large residential condominium project containing 595 units in San Francisco. The defendants were the only architects on the project and not only provided design services at the outset of the project, but also performed weekly inspections at the construction site, monitored contractor compliance with the design plans, altered the design requirements as issues arose, and advised the owner of any non-conforming work that should be rejected. The defendants charged a fee of more than $5 million for these construction related services. 

Affordable Care Act (ACA) First Information Returns Are Due in 2016 for Large Employers 

By Aaron Peterson, Editor Agents Advantage


If you are en employer with at least 250 employees, IRS has released draft forms for reporting ACA compliance.  Reporting begins January 2016 for the prior year, 2015.  These drafts became available on July 24, 2014

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California Court Finds that Delegation Clauses within Arbitration Agreements Can Be Enforceable

By Steven Markowitz. Esq. of Jampol Zimet LLP


In the aftermath of the United States Supreme Court case, AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion, (2011) 131 S. Ct. 1740 ("Concepcion") California courts have begun revising state law regarding the enforceability of contractual arbitration clauses, including in the employer-employee context.

Letter From  the Publisher
"Protecting Your Reputation" it takes years to build but only one mistake to destroy. Now Available, E&O Exposures in the Sales Process ORDER NOW.

MONDAY MORNING, the weekly "mini-webinar" features industry leader and marketing guru George Nordhaus, this week George interviews Deborah Miller-Pfahler  to discuss a couple of very costly mistakes that most of us make with personal lines, and how we can avoid them t. To see this week's presentation click here.

A review of the top stories on World Risk & Insurance News at WRIN.tv. Here is your opportunity to see the online video news stories you may have missed. Watch them now "Week in Review".

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