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Gun Laws and Workplace Violence: Challenges for Employers

Recently, a disgruntled former UPS employee, whose employment had been terminated, opened fire at the UPS facility in Alabama, killing two employees before killing himself.  Tragically, not a day seems to go by without some media report of gun violence in this country. While any level of gun violence, where innocent lives are taken, stirs contentious debate on the issue of the “right to bear arms,” gun violence at the workplace presents special challenges to employers aiming to prevent becoming a part of the statistic and the evening news.  The debate over who should carry guns and under what conditions or restrictions has created a platform for dialog concerning gun regulation and safety.  In response, many states have passed more comprehensive gun legislation, which may make it more difficult or easier for employers seeking to keep their workplace safe, depending on which side of the gun debate you are on.

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Using Modern Medical Evidence and the Keasbey Opinion to Defend Asbestos Coverage Suits

Carriers defending against asbestos claims—and possibly other long-tail claims such as those involving silica, benzene, and talc—would be wise to review the Keasbey case to identify strategies for limiting coverage.  Cont’l Cas. Co. v. Emp. Ins. Co. of Wausau, 871 N.Y.S.2d 48 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008) (Keasbey).  There, the court found that “one indisputable fact . . . to emerge from [the] medical evidence . . . is that actual injury . . . does not occur upon [initial] exposure to asbestos.”  Id. at 62.  This ruling, which has implications for trigger of coverage, nonproducts coverage, allocation, and corporate succession, has been underused by insurers litigating asbestos coverage issues, especially given that since the Keasbey trial, which was held in 2005, the medical evidence has become stronger that “bodily injury” does not occur at or soon after initial exposure.

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Fighting Fraudulent Joinder: Getting Your Case into Federal Court

Tort actions involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices usually involve state law claims, and therefore, diversity jurisdiction is often the only way to proceed in a federal court.  Plaintiffs, however, may join doctors, sales representatives, hospitals, or pharmacies as nondiverse defendants, or in some cases, they may even join multiple plaintiffs from several states to defeat diversity jurisdiction.  Because defendants most often prefer to litigate in federal courts, fighting the joinder of these nondiverse defendants is critical. 

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White Paper Predicts Drones as Next Big Thing in Insurance  - Claims Journal 10/23/2014
Apple Promptly Calls Out ‘Patent Troll’ After Trial Win  - Bloomberg 10/23/2014
DaVita to pay $389 million to settle anti-kickback investigations  - The Denver Post 10/23/2014
Guardrail Maker Trinity Faces Oct. 31 Deadline for Safety Plan  - Insurance Journal 10/23/2014
Bridgewater Sues Ex-Employees Who Founded Rival Convoy  - Bloomberg 10/23/2014
Pressure Intensifies for Recall of Takata Airbags  - New York Times 10/23/2014
California venture firm does not have to release documents in discrimination suit  - Yahoo!Finance 10/23/2014
Oxycontin marketing suit is Purdue Pharma's 'legal nightmare'  - ABA Journal 10/23/2014
Getting more bang for your IP buck, Pt 3  - Inside Counsel 10/23/2014
Food Flavor Can't Be Trademarked (Even If The Baked Ziti Is Delicious)  - Forbes 10/23/2014
Sunlight on Alzheimer Drug Antitrust Suit  - Courthouse News Service 10/23/2014
Big Tech winning battle with 'patent trolls'  - Yahoo!Finance 10/23/2014
Goodfellas actor sues The Simpsons for appropriating his likeness for character  - Inside Counsel 10/23/2014
Sonos sues Denon for allegedly copying its wireless speaker tech  - Engadget 10/23/2014
Feds Announce More Than 7.8M Vehicles Recalled Due to Defective Airbags  - Claims Journal 10/23/2014

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