- Article | 9.19.23
Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are complex medical conditions that lack a unified consensus on diagnostic testing and treatment. Because there is a lack of medical consensus on how to treat these conditions, Lyme-literate providers, who practice on the cutting edge of medicine, can find themselves vulnerable to medical board and other regulatory agency investigations. A recent survey of 155 Lyme-literate medical providers found that 39% were reported to either a medical board, insurer, or subjected to a hospital-based quality improvement inquiry. This survey has drawn attention to the challenges faced by medical providers in treating these complex and often misunderstood conditions. Exploring the reasons behind the complexity of treating tick-borne diseases sheds light on the ever increasing prevalence of Lyme disease and the growing demand for more comprehensive treatment approaches.
- Media Mention | 8.31.23
While AI has penetrated awareness in the larger culture, construction companies have been delving into it themselves in recent years including using it to optimize work schedules, to improve workplace safety, and to keep a close eye on construction sites.
- Newsroom | 7.11.23
On June 16, 2023, Nevada signed into law a bill that would amend the cap on damages in medical malpractice cases. This bill has significant implications for patients and medical professionals alike.
- Article | 5.11.23
Florida is quickly establishing itself as one of the most business-friendly states in the nation. After undertaking massive tort reform, state legislators are now tackling construction defect issues. While much work remains to be done, moving the statute of repose from 10 to 7 years is big news. Three extra years is significant in the wear and tear of property as well as in maintenance-related issues that drive homeowner's associations to seek counsel instead of making necessary repairs that are expected during the lifeblood of a building. This move is likely to make this venue more friendly for insurance carriers and the resulting development of the growing Florida market.
- Article | 5.8.23
Construction site safety is of utmost importance, yet construction site injuries and fatalities remain a significant concern in New York State. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the leading causes of construction site injuries and fatalities, including falls, struck-by incidents, electrocutions, and caught-in/between incidents. Construction workers are at a higher risk for these types of accidents due to the nature of their work, which often involves working from heights, working near heavy machinery, and working in confined spaces.
- Article | 3.30.23
After jamming the courthouse system with thousands of lawsuits, plaintiff attorneys are out of time to get their claims filed before Florida's new tort reform legislation is signed into law by Governor De Santis. After its signing, HB 837 will make it more difficult for Floridians to file lawsuits. In anticipation of this changing climate, it is estimated that Florida plaintiff firms have filed hundreds of lawsuits in anticipation of the bill's signage last week. The bill calls for wide-ranging tort reform and the new revisions in the area of civil litigation arena are significant. Many plaintiff firms are unhappy with the changes and some have even publicly stated that they plan to make the litigation process as difficult as possible for defense attorneys moving forward.
- Article | 3.8.23
Many experts agree that the economy is on the precipice of a recession. The Federal Reserve increased interest rates seven times in 2022. Congress is once again tasked with raising the debt ceiling to push the national debt north of $31.4 trillion. According to Bloomberg, in 2022, consumer price inflation in the U.S. soared to a 40 year high of 9.1%. Historically speaking, real estate and construction litigation increases when the economy heads down. As homeowners lose their jobs and watch the adjustable rates on their mortgages climb—causing payments to skyrocket—they historically file more lawsuits against real estate, construction and design professionals. People who are upside down on their payments are desperate for a solution and often take aim at the defects in their homes when times were better. The economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased stress on the supply chain, in part caused by the war in Ukraine, have contributed to an economy plagued by inflation. Real estate professionals, the construction industry, and design professionals face particularly trying times sharing in the impact of financial uncertainty and responding an to increased litigation risk. Armed with historical data, the real estate and construction industries can take positive steps to prepare for a recession and minimize its impact on business growth.
- Article | 3.6.23
On January 30, 2023, at the eleventh hour, Governor Hochul vetoed legislation known as the Grieving Families Act. The defense bar has waited with some degree of anxiety to see if Bill S74A would pass her desk, and when it did not, a collective sigh of relief was heard among many. Despite heavy pressure from the plaintiff bar and others, Governor Hochul expressed concern about the potential negative impact of the bill on the economy as well as healthcare costs.
- Case Updates | 2.6.23
Florida House Bill 85 would decrease the time in which an action could be brought by a homeowner for construction defects. Proponents of the bill say that reducing potential liability for insurance companies, builders and other construction professionals will ultimately drive down costs and provide more affordable housing options in the state. Opponents argue that if passed into law this legislation would significantly undercut homeowners rights and impair their ability to seek a remedy for latent defects that only appear years after building is complete. Similar bills proposed during the 2022 legislative session inspired much debate, but did not pass.
- Case Updates | 1.17.23
Contractors in the State of Washington have been watching closely a case involving prelien notice by subcontractors. On December 6, 2022, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division Two addressed the issue in the decision of Velazquez Framing LLC v. Cascadia Homes, Inc., (2022) Case No. 56513-7-II. In this matter, a second-tier subcontractor’s failure to provide prelien notice to the general contractor prevented enforcement of its lien. The court held that allowing an unknown subcontractor to file a lien against a general contractor's property when the general contractor was not aware of the second-tier subcontractor’s hiring or participation in the project is against legislative policy to protect both laborers and owners.
- Article | 11.16.22
Beginning on January 1, 2023, California will go one step further in combating the pervasive problem of sex trafficking in hotels and motels by imposing liability on owners for failing to identify and report sex trafficking activity when supervisors knew or should have known it was occurring on their property. As a result, hotel owners and operators should work to ensure staff receive proper training and set clear policies and procedures for employees to report activity.
- Article | 11.14.22
Insurance industry professionals should take notice of a recent bill passed by the California legislature that will impact time-limited insurance settlements moving forward. On September 28, 2022, SB 1155 was signed into law by Governor Newsom. This bill adds Chapter 3.2 entitled "Time-Limited Demands" to the California Code of Civil Procedure (sections 999-999.5).
- Article | 10.21.22
Any legal practitioner in California and beyond can attest to the court reporter shortage. Even before the onset of the pandemic, the court reporting industry was experiencing an increasing shortfall of court reporters available compared to the number of courtrooms and depositions needing the services of one.
- Case Updates | 10.7.22
In a highly anticipated decision, the Court of Appeal clarified an issue on agency which is important to hospitals in California that host doctors working as independent contractors. In the Franklin v. Santa Barbara Cottage Hosp., 2d Civil B311482 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 8, 2022) decision, the court clarified that a hospital cannot be held liable for the acts of an independent contractor working at the hospital. Key documentation was pivotal in this decision, as the patient had executed paperwork formally recognizing the independent relationship. In addition, the hospital did not retain any ability to control how the physician chose to treat his patients, or the manner in which he performed operations or other procedures. He was also not an ostensible agent as the patient, not the hospital, had selected the doctor in question for his surgery.
- Article | 10.6.22
In a decision causing quite a stir among medical professionals, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided to change a twenty-year-old rule regarding venue for medical malpractice actions. On August 25, 2022, the Court adopted amendments to Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 1006, 2130, 2156, and 2179, which govern venue in medical malpractice actions. Prior to this decision, medical malpractice cases could only be brought in the county where the medical care or treatment occurred.