E&O Weekly Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
September 4, 2014
Agents of America

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E&O Tip on Do some of your watercraft customers know the benefits of a separate policy?



Interns Are Protected Employees, Too (In New York Anyway)

By Bennett Pine, Esq. of Anderson Kill P.C.


On July 22, 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation amending the New York State Human Rights Law to protect unpaid interns from harassment, discrimination and other forms of unlawful employment practices in the workplace.

Interns - paid or unpaid - are now protected against discrimination in selection, retention and terms and conditions of employment on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, creed, color, national origin, disability, genetic predisposition, marital status, domestic violence victim status and pregnancy.


National Trends and Implications Concerning Reservation of Rights: What Every Insurance Professional Must Know

By Thomas Paschos, Esq. of Thomas Paschos & Associates, P.C.


Insurance carriers and coverage professionals are often confronted with a variety of issues related to the duty to defend and the duty to indemnify. The duty to defend is generally broader than the duty to indemnify. The duty to defend is based upon allegations and potential coverage. A suit that triggers the duty to defend does not necessarily mean there is coverage.


Engineer Who Placed His Seal On Allegedly Defective Design Plans Did Not Have An Independent Tort Duty To Owner

By Cassidy E. Chiver, Esq. of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP


McConnell v. Servinsky Engineering, PLLC, Case No. 2:13 CV 00048 (USDC W.D. Va. May 20, 2014)


Plaintiff owner entered into a contract with a Michigan engineering firm that operated as a limited liability company to design a post foundation for a building in Virginia. One of the principals in the firm was licensed in Virginia and he personally performed the design services and put his seal on the plans. The post foundation failed and four attempted fixes designed by the same engineering firm were also unsuccessful. The owner filed an action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia asserting claims against the engineering firm and the engineer individually for breach of the professional standard of care, alleging that he was personally liable for the damages because he attached his engineer's seal to the allegedly defective design plans and the Michigan statute which permitted professionals to do business as limited liability companies stated that members would still be liable for negligent acts while performing professional services. The owner's amended complaint also alleged claims for breach of implied warranty and breach of an implied contract against the engineer individually. The engineer moved for judgment on the pleadings and the motion was granted by the District Court and the engineer was dismissed.

Where Suicide Is Caused by Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Illinois Now Recognizes Ensuing Actions for Wrongful Death and Survival

By Melissa A. Murphy-Petros, Esq. of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP


The Illinois Appellate Court has held, as a matter of first impression in the state, that where a plaintiff can satisfy the elements of the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress and the emotional distress is a substantial factor in causing a decedent's suicide, causes of action for wrongful death and survival based on the suicide are now cognizable. Although careful to draw the distinction between negligence and intentional torts in cases where the defendant's actions cause emotional distress that leads to a suicide, the Appellate Court's opinion in Turcios v. DeBruler Company, 2014 IL App (2d) 130331, nevertheless opens the door to a wide variety of wrongful death and survival claims that were previously not recognized.


A Claimant Who Fails To Establish A Valid Common Law Marriage To The Decedent Is Not Entitled To Widow's Benefits

By Francis X. Wickersham, Esq.


Brett Cooney (deceased) - Amanda Cerrano v. WCAB (Patterson UTI, Inc.)

; 1681 C.D. 2013; filed 6/12/14; by Judge Simpson<

The decedent sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of a drilling rig accident while working for the employer. The decedent passed away six days following the injury. After the decedent's death, the employer and the claimant entered into an agreement to pay dependency benefits to the decedent's two minor children under 307 (1) (b) of the Act. In the agreement, the claimant reserved the right to file a fatal claim petition for widow's benefits. the claimant did so, but the Workers' Compensation Judge denied the petition. 

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 Gary W. Githens of Brown & Brown Northwest joins me to discuss how you should protect your data. 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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