November 5, 2018

Duck Boat Mediation

“Mediation often leads to faster resolution and allows those affected to avoid a lengthy process of litigation, and most importantly, begin the healing process.”

— Ripley Entertainment Inc. spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala-Potts comments after the company, along with Branson Duck Vehicles of Branson, Mo., filed to invoke a 1851 law that allows vessel owners to try to avoid or limit legal damages. Facing multiple lawsuits over a summer tourist boat accident in Missouri that killed 17 people, the companies are seeking to enforce mediation.

Drug-Impaired Driving

“Texas needs increased safety-focused leadership at the governor and state legislature level, additional resources, and data-driven strategies to prevent tragedies such as the Concan crash and to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries caused by alcohol and other drug-impaired drivers.”

— The National Transportation Safety Board said in a report on its investigation into Jack Dillon Young’s March 2017 collision with a church bus that killed 13 people near Concan, Texas. The NTSB said Young’s use of marijuana and a sedative led to the crash. Young, who survived the crash, said he had taken twice the prescribed dosage of the sedative before the wreck.

Alarming and Unacceptable

“The omission of these sorts of safety measures from Columbia Gas’ operating procedures prior to this disaster is alarming and unacceptable.”

— Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey said after a review of internal company documents for Columbia Gas, the natural gas company at the center of the explosions north of Boston in mid-September. The senators said Columbia Gas was “woefully unprepared” to prevent or respond to the disaster and didn’t have adequate safety and response measures in place when more than 80 explosions and gas fires struck Lawrence, North Andover and Andover.

Crooked Contractors

“I’ve already heard of crooked contractors who are asking for cash up front and pressuring some to sign an assignment of benefits contract.”

— Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, in an Oct. 15 press release from the Department of Financial Services. The state is on alert for assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse after Hurricane Michael for fear it could inflame the current crisis that is leading to higher insurance rates and coverage restrictions.

Phones and Earthquakes

“Most folks expect to get the alerts on their phone and that is of course the preferred way that we’d like to get it into everybody’s hands. Unfortunately, the technology that is built into your phone to send you notifications was not designed with earthquake early warning in mind.”

— Doug Given, earthquake early warning coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey, said automated alerts from the fledgling West Coast earthquake early warning system are not ready for use in mass public notification yet.

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Insurance Journal West November 5, 2018
November 5, 2018
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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