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News & Insights

California’s New Survival Statute Takes Effect and Increases the Complexity, Value, and Costs of Survival Actions

A significant change in California law regarding survival actions took effect on January 1, 2022. All plaintiffs who file civil actions on or after this date are now permitted to recover damages for a deceased party's pre-death pain, suffering, or disfigurement. California is the 46th state to permit this form of recovery and joins the majority in modifying its survival statute. Going forward, the value of survival actions and attendant costs of defending them will increase

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  • Tried over 1,000 cases to verdict; internationally recognized for exceptionally high rate of success
  • #3 ranking on The American Lawyer’s 2020 Diversity Scorecard, which records the average number of minority attorneys at Am Law 200 and NLJ 250 law firms
  • Recognized as one of the top 10 law firms in the nation for inclusiveness of women lawyers in the National Law Journal’s 2020 Women in Law Scorecard
  • Named a "Go-To Law Firm" in ALM's annual edition of In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies
  • Top 150 ranking on the National Law Journal’s 2020 NLJ 500, an annual survey of the 500 largest law firms in the U.S.
  • Top 200 ranking on Law360's 400 2019 list of largest U.S. law firms

Professional Liability Defense Federation Names Michelle Arbitrio Chief Diversity Officer

WSHB Partner Michelle Arbitrio has been named the Chief Diversity Officer for the Professional Liability Defense Federation (PDLF). Arbitrio, Managing Partner of WSHB’s White Plains, New York office, is nationally known for her thought leadership on diversity, equity and inclusion.

New Jersey on a Crash Course for Increased Auto-Insurance Litigation

On January 10, 2022, the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate passed the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act (S.B. 1559), which would permit bad faith lawsuits by those injured in automobile accidents against insurers for “an unreasonable delay or unreasonable denial of a claim for payment of benefits under an insurance policy.” The bill awaits Gov. Phil Murphy’s consideration.

Supreme Court Prevents OSHA “Vaccine or Test” Standard From Taking Immediate Effect But Allows Healthcare Worker Mandate To Stand

On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court granted the applications from parties who challenged the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that required employers with one hundred or more employees to, among other things, compel employees to either obtain the COVID-19 vaccine or test weekly for presence of the virus and wear a mask in the workplace.

Employer Unable to Enforce Arbitration Agreement

An employee who brought suit against his employer for multiple Labor Code violations was not held to the provisions of an arbitration agreement as several terms were skewed in favor of the employer. The court found that an agreement signed as a condition as employment as well as containing multiple unfair terms that were stacked against Plaintiff, rendered the contract as a whole unconscionable and unenforceable.

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