Месечни архиви: September 2015

Hawaii Homeowners Get 27M in Development Dispute

Hawaii Homeowners Get 27M in Development Dispute

A Hawaii jury has awarded Ewa Beach homeowners about $27 million in a lawsuit against a developer trying to build a recreational lagoon instead of the marina it originally planned.

The jury ruled Tuesday that Haseko must pay $1,300 for each homeowner in the class-action lawsuit and $20 million in punitive damages, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported. They will also pay nearly $4,000 for each of about 1,800 homeowners in Ocean Pointe.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Green said the settlement makes an important statement to future developers that they cannot come into Hawaii and deceive homeowners.

homesHaseko’s attorney Steven Chung said the settlement is contrary to state law, which doesn’t allow punitive damages to be awarded in deceptive practice cases. Chung said he will file a motion to set aside the decision.

In late 2011, after much work was done excavating the marina basin, Haseko announced that it would not complete the marina because of what it said was weak demand for slips. It also cited ongoing and possible future legal challenges to government approvals for the marina channel that attracted opposition from conservation and cultural interests. Instead it announced it would develop a recreational lagoon.

Homeowners filed suit because they said they had been misled when they supported the initial zoning change.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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34 Workers Killed On Job in Wyoming In 2014

34 Workers Killed On Job in Wyoming In 2014

A higher-than-average number of workers died on the job in Wyoming last year.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services said this week that 34 people died at work in Wyoming last year. That’s up from 26 in 2013 and close to the recent high of 35 fatalities in 2012.

Wyoming has been averaging 30 deaths on the job since 2008. The state consistently ranks second only to North Dakota for its rate of deadly workplace accidents.

workers_compTen deaths on the job in Wyoming last year occurred in the oil and gas industry. Seven of those 10 deaths involved vehicles.

Seven other deaths were drivers working general transportation jobs.

Other workers killed included a researcher mauled by a grizzly bear and a worker who fell into equipment at a sugar beet plant.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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California Employment Department Rules Former Uber Driver Was Employee

California Employment Department Rules Former Uber Driver Was Employee

Uber has lost another legal round in the dispute over whether its drivers are independent contractors or employees, an issue that threatens the core of the ride-hailing company’s business model.

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) determined that a former Uber driver in Southern California was an employee, not an independent contractor as the company has claimed, and the decision was upheld twice after Uber appealed by both an administrative law judge and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

The board’s ruling came from its Inglewood office in August. The case came to light when a lawyer suing Uber on behalf of other drivers posted documents to her website.

The EDD decision is the third such ruling that appears to undercut how San Francisco-based Uber operates, relying on independent contractors to transport passengers.

Ride Hailing AppsThe other two were by a Florida regulatory agency in May and the California Labor Commissioner in June.

More significantly, this is the first of those cases to be appealed and have those appeals denied, foreshadowing how other appeals may be handled, some legal experts say.

In the Inglewood case, a former Uber driver, whose name was withheld from case documents, applied for unemployment benefits in April 2014.

After the EDD determined the driver had rights to unemployment benefits as an Uber employee, the company appealed the decision first in November and again in June, according to the EDD.

According to the administrative law judge who heard the first appeal, Uber has sole discretion over fares, and can charge drivers a cancellation fee if they choose not to take a ride, prohibit drivers from picking up passengers not using the app and suspend or deactivate drivers’ accounts.

Based on that, “there was in fact an employer/employee relationship,” according to the decision.

The company argues that drivers want independent contractor status because they value the chance to be their own boss.

The decision, an Uber spokeswoman said, “does not have any wider impact or set any formal or binding precedent.”

Eight states have issued rulings that classify Uber drivers as independent contractors: Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, which made such a ruling in 2012 that applied to only a specific case.

But a federal judge in San Francisco ruled last week that drivers are entitled to class-action status in litigation over whether they are independent contractors or employees.

(Reporting by Heather Somerville; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)


California Uber Drivers Get Class Action Status in Employment Suit
Uber Headache if More Drivers Want Full-Time Status
Uber Fails to Block Drivers From Suing as Group for Tips in California
Uber Driver Case Tests ‘Sharing Economy’ Business Model
Commission Rules Uber Drivers Employees, Not Contractors Copyright 2015 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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Markel Corp to Acquire CATCo Bermuda-Based ILS Specialist

Markel Corp to Acquire CATCo Bermuda-Based ILS Specialist

Markel Corporation and CATCo Investment Management Ltd. announced they have entered into an agreement whereby Markel will acquire substantially all of the assets of CATCo, a Bermuda-based specialist in insurance linked securities.*

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the business will operate as Markel CATCo Investment Management Ltd.

The existing CATCo management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Tony Belisle, will take on commensurate roles at Markel CATCo and will operate the business from its Hamilton, Bermuda, headquarters under Markel’s ownership.

“We are very pleased for Tony Belisle and the entire CATCo team to join Markel,” said Richard R. Whitt, president and co-chief operating officer of Markel.

“The addition of CATCo’s insurance linked investment management capabilities alongside Markel’s traditional reinsurance capabilities makes for a powerful combination,” he added.

“While Markel has a long and successful track record in the insurance linked securities space, the addition of the CATCo team takes our capabilities to an entirely new level. The current challenges in the reinsurance and retrocessional markets are well documented. Despite these short-term challenges, we believe that with innovative products and services the long-term future is bright,” Whitt noted.

“We are excited to join forces with Markel, a leading global specialty insurer and reinsurer which operates with a strong commitment to its core values and distinguished corporate culture,” said Tony Belisle, chief executive officer of CATCo Investment Management Ltd.

“We felt this partnership offered a rare opportunity for CATCo to combine with a culturally similar organization which shares our results-oriented commitment to success and market leadership,” he added.

“We are confident that uniting the strength of the Markel brand and its global reach with CATCo’s differentiated product innovation capabilities will serve to improve our value proposition for investors and cedants,” Belisle said.

“CATCo has grown significantly since its launch in 2010, and the agreement with Markel will allow the same management team to maintain its commitment to both client service and continual product innovation.”

Willis Capital Markets & Advisory served as exclusive financial advisor and Hogan Lovells International LLP served as legal adviser to CATCo. Sidley Austin LLP served as legal adviser to Markel.

* CATCo manages approximately $2.7 billion of retrocession and traditional reinsurance portfolios for clients around the world, including financial institutions, charities, pension funds, family offices, and investment funds.

Source: Markel Corporation and CATCo Investment Management Ltd.

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QBE Asia Pacific Appoints Allan as General Manager – Claims Asia Pacific

QBE Asia Pacific Appoints Allan as General Manager – Claims Asia Pacific

QBE Asia Pacific announced the appointment of Martin Allan to the role of general manager – Claims, Asia Pacific, with effect from September 8, 2015.

In this role, Allan is responsible for managing the claims function and driving business efficiencies to deliver an enhanced value proposition for QBE customers in Asia Pacific. He is based in Singapore.

“As part of our Asia Pacific Profitable Growth Strategy, we see the importance of strengthening our claims capability to fulfil our growth development,” said Bruce Howe, chief operating officer, QBE Asia Pacific. “With Martin’s proven record and experience in claims, we are confident that he will help us to further grow our profitability and improve the customer experience in the Asia Pacific.”

Allan has had more than 32 years of experience in the insurance industry and has held various senior positions with different corporates, including general management of operations and regional roles in claims. Prior to joining QBE, he was the manager director and country manager at Crawford & Co. International Singapore. He also served as the regional head of Consumer Claims, APAC, at ACE Asia Pacific Services for eight years, during which he had management oversight of regional claims for various product lines.

Source: QBE Asia Pacific

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Allianz Names Shumaker Team Leader in California

Allianz Names Shumaker Team Leader in California

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has named Matthew Shumaker to a team leader position for the Los Angeles, Calif. and Mountain states territory.

Shumaker will be based out of the Irvine, Calif. field office. He will be responsible for leading an underwriting team, and for developing and strengthening relationships with distribution partners throughout the territory.

Shumaker has 12 years of insurance industry experience. Prior to Allianz, he was the global technology sales executive at Travelers and was responsible for the Southern California territory. Before that, he spent three years at Fireman’s Fund as a territory sales director.

Matthew Shumaker

Matthew Shumaker

Allianz provides global business insurance for a number of Fortune 500 companies.

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Three Northern California Firms Rebrand to ‘Risico’

Three Northern California Firms Rebrand to ‘Risico’

Three jointly-owned insurance firms in Northern California are merging into a united corporate identity known as “Risico.”

The firms involved are KRM Risk Management Services Inc., American All-Risk Loss Administrators Inc. and Total Managed Care Inc. All three specialize in workers’ compensation services.

The newly-named, Fresno-based companies will change from: KRM to Risico Insurance Services Inc.; AARLA to Risico Claims Management Inc.; and TMC to Risico Total Managed Care Inc.

“Risico” is Dutch for “risk,” which an announcement by the firm says reflects the family heritage of owner William J. Van Beurden, who founded KRM in 1993.

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Beecher Carlson Adds 2 to Northeast Property Operations

Beecher Carlson Adds 2 to Northeast Property Operations

Beecher Carlson Insurance Services LLC, a specialized large account insurance broker and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brown & Brown Inc., hired Molly Nolan as Northeast Property Practice leader in Boston and Evan Bull as managing director in New York City.

Nolan will be responsible for brokering, servicing and assisting in production on complex property accounts. She will report to Beecher Carlson Executive Managing Director, National Property Practice, Cliff Simpson.

Nolan has worked in the U.S., London and European marketplaces for 19 years. She most recently worked for Lloyd & Partners in their North American Property team.

Throughout her career, Nolan’s focus has been large complex property accounts across all property industry classes with an inclination towards real estate and manufacturing. She has extensive knowledge of both U.S. only domiciled accounts as well as global accounts with experience in reinsurance, captives and international servicing issues.

In his new role as managing director at Beecher Carlson, Bull will focus on new business development strategies in the Northeast region with a focus on property. Bull will report to Beecher Carlson Executive Managing Director, Northeast Region, John Kerns.

Bull brings a wealth of experience in the complex property space to Beecher Carlson. Previously he was National Property Practice leader for Burns & Wilcox Brokerage.


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Louisiana Regulators Take Over Health Insurance CO-OP

Louisiana Regulators Take Over Health Insurance CO-OP

The 19th Judicial District Court granted an Order of Rehabilitation and Injunctive Relief giving Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon possession and control of the Louisiana Health Cooperative Inc. (LAHC, aka CO-OP), the Louisiana Department of Insurance announced.

The CO-OP is a health maintenance organization (HMO) formed under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act as a non-profit health insurance company. It had previously announced it would wind down operations at the end of this year and not offer coverage in 2016.

Donelon said the department is “convinced that the CO-OP, with the support of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), will have the ability to pay claims owed to health care providers and I am confident that we can more efficiently and successfully wind down affairs in a timely and equitable fashion.”

Because CO-OP policies remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2015, the LDI sought the Order of Rehabilitation in an effort to ensure uninterrupted healthcare for policyholders and the timely payment of claims to providers.

Policyholders should continue to pay premiums in the same manner, schedule doctor appointments and be assured that their policies will be honored. No one’s health insurance policy will be canceled.

All individual market (non-employer sponsored) insurance policies end on Dec. 31, 2015. CO-OP policyholders will need to enroll in new coverage that will be effective on Jan. 1, 2016. The open enrollment period for health insurance coverage for the 2016 calendar year runs from Nov. 1, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016.

The LDI will work with providers to ensure they are paid in a timely manner. Financial examiners with the LDI believe the CO-OP, with the support of the CMS, will have the ability to pay all claims.

The Order states that the Commissioner is entitled to enforce, for the benefit of policyholders, contract performance by any party who had contracted with the LAHC. Providers are required by their contracts to continue treating policyholders.

Source: Louisiana Department of Insurance

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AJ Renner Associates Acquired by RT Specialty

AJ Renner Associates Acquired by RT Specialty

R-T Specialty LLC (RT Specialty), the wholesale brokerage unit of Ryan Specialty Group LLC, has acquired A.J. Renner & Associates, an Illinois-based wholesale insurance broker specializing in the life science arena.

Following the close of the transaction, the core of the life science team of A.J. Renner will be joining RT Specialty.

A.J. Renner & Associates is the trade name used by Vista Insurance Partners of Illinois Inc. The company was founded in 1985 as an excess and surplus lines broker specializing in insurance products for life science, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, clinical trials, medical devices, healthcare and long-term care.

A.J. Renner also offers exclusive programs for product liability in the generic and specialty pharmaceutical industry through an integrated platform of risk management, claims management and experienced underwriting.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Source: RT Specialty

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