It Figures

March 10, 2008


A $100 million lawsuit claiming that NBC Universal Inc. prompted the suicide of a former Texas prosecutor who was a pedophile suspect is moving ahead after ruling by a U.S. federal judge. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, while dismissing some causes of action, said certain key claims in the complaint filed by the sister of Louis Conradt, an assistant district attorney, can proceed to trial, according to a 40-page ruling. Chin let the case go forward on claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress and violation of civil rights, saying if the allegations were proven, “a reasonable jury could find that NBC crossed the line from responsible journalism to irresponsible and reckless intrusion into law enforcement.”


Officials say South Dakota schools may have up to 26,000 pounds of ground beef that has been recalled by the government. The U.S. Department of Agriculture ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of beef from a California slaughterhouse that is the subject of an animal-abuse investigation. Some of the meat went to schools. South Dakota schools will be told how to destroy it. The USDA has guidelines to follow. The state Education Department says 121 school food services in South Dakota have some of the recalled beef on hand. Their statewide estimate is 650 cases, which weigh 40 pounds each.


Feb. 27, 2008 marks a significant anniversary in the history of insurance: 110 years since the first auto insurance policy. That policy was sold in 1898 by Traveler’s Insurance Co. to Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo, N.Y., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The policy gave Martin $5,000 in liability coverage. At the time, Martin would likely have been more concerned with crashing into one of the country’s 18 million horses, rather than another of the 4,000 cars in the U.S. Oh, how times have changed: Over a century later, cars and trucks outnumber horses 237 million to 9 million. Martin’s 1898 policy, which gave him coverage well below what most insurers would consider appropriate, cost $12.25. In today’s dollars, that would be about $316.25. Today, the average car costs about $821 a year to insure.


According to the state Department of Public Safety, the 145 people killed on South Dakota highways last year dropped 24 percent from 2006. The department says that’s the fewest number of fatalities since 1993. The number of fatal crashes, 129, dropped 25 percent, the lowest total in 10 years. And public safety officials say the number of alcohol-related fatalities dropped 18 percent from 2006 to 2007, the lowest alcohol-related fatality count since 1997. Fifty-nine people died in such crashes last year, compared with 72 in 2006.

Topics USA South Dakota

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Insurance Journal West March 10, 2008
March 10, 2008
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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