June 6, 2011

Compromise on Lawsuits

“You can be assured that you can go to the courthouse and not face the prospect of ruination by pursuing a constitutional right.”

—Texas trial attorney Mike Gallagher comments on a compromise bill that he helped negotiate that aims to restrict frivolous lawsuits in Texas. Opponents of the original bill feared that the legislation would make it more difficult for Texans to bring lawsuits and would discourage people from bringing suits because of the fear of paying huge legal costs if they lose. The revised legislation allows judges to rule on whether a case is without merit much sooner, limit discovery, hasten hearings and assess court costs more equitably in civil cases.

Flooded Crop Coverage

“Producers who purchased crop insurance and whose crops have been damaged by the flooding will be eligible for crop insurance indemnities in accordance with the provisions of their crop insurance polices.”

—Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain D.V.M. said the United States Department of Agriculture has guaranteed that Morganza Spillway and Atchafalaya River Basin farmers whose crops have been damaged by Mississippi River flooding will be eligible for crop insurance payments in accordance with their crop insurance policies. Farmers who are unable to plant but purchased crop insurance will also be eligible for prevented planting payments in accordance with their policies.

The Final Straw?

“It’s only a large U.S. event that can turn things around. The U.S. is the biggest insurance market with the biggest exposures.”

—Amit Kumar, an analyst at Macquarie in New York. The insurance industry took another multi-billion dollar hit from U.S. tornadoes in April and May, and analysts say an additional big hurricane loss could be the final straw that forces it to hike prices in order to preserve capital and rebuild profits. The property and casualty industry has been forced by stiff competition and excess capacity to cut or hold prices since 2008. The hurricane season runs June 1 to Nov. 30. Reuters

Topics USA Market Agribusiness

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