Anthony Luckie Speaks With Columbia University On Receiving Graduate Degree in Construction Administration Alongside His Father
October 02, 2023 — Lewis Brisbois
New York, N.Y. (September 7, 2023) – New York Partner Anthony P. Luckie recently spoke with the Columbia University School of Professional Studies' Alumni publication regarding earning a Master of Science in Construction Administration alongside his father, as well as how the degree will benefit his law practice and clients.
As the article explains, Mr. Luckie and his father completed Columbia’s Construction Administration Program last year – only one week before the birth of Mr. Luckie’s own son. Mr. Luckie described that being accepted into the program at Columbia – a school from which “some of the most important figures in American history” have graduated – “was a really big thrill . . . .” He further explained that although he felt a sense of pride in earning the degree, the fact that he and his father shared the experience held even greater meaning for him. He noted, “[W]hile it’s an incredible achievement for both of us to graduate from an Ivy League school, for me, that day was a culmination of a father raising his son. Standing there with him onstage . . . I made sure I took time to feel grateful.” Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Lewis Brisbois
Compliance with Contractual and Jurisdictional Pre-Suit Requirements is Essential to Maximizing Recovery
November 27, 2023 — Michael S. Levine, Geoffrey B. Fehling & Charlotte Leszinske - Hunton Insurance Recovery Blog
Timely notice is an important first step in a successful insurance recovery. But insurance policies are not always straightforward in identifying how, when, and to whom notice must be provided. Some states may also impose additional procedural hurdles, including requiring policyholders to contact their insurers before filing suit (the idea behind this requirement is that it may avoid litigation). Failing to comply with pre-suit requirements can hurt the policyholder’s recovery, as illustrated in a recent decision from the Northern District of Texas.
In NewcrestImage Holdings, LLC v. The Travelers Lloyds Insurance Company, No. 2:23-cv-039-BR (N.D. Tex. Oct. 17, 2023), the court considered whether NewcrestImage had forfeited its right to recover attorneys’ fees by failing to give Travelers pre-suit notice. NewcrestImage had filed suit against Travelers to obtain coverage for damage to its hotel property arising out of Winter Storm Uri. In its answer, Travelers asserted that NewcrestImage failed to provide the insurer with pre-suit notice as required under the Texas Insurance Code, and that if NewcrestImage successfully proved it was entitled to coverage, NewcrestImage’s failure to provide pre-suit notice precluded it from recovering attorneys’ fees. Travelers later moved to strike the claim for attorneys’ fees on that basis.
Reprinted courtesy of Michael S. Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth
, Geoffrey B. Fehling, Hunton Andrews Kurth
and Charlotte Leszinske, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Mr. Levine may be contacted at mlevine@HuntonAK.com
Mr. Fehling may be contacted at gfehling@HuntonAK.com
Ms. Leszinske may be contacted at cleszinske@HuntonAK.com Read the full story...
Extreme Flooding Overwhelms New York Roadways, Killing 1 Person
July 24, 2023 — Associated Press - Bloomberg
NEW YORK (AP) — Heavy rain spawned extreme flooding in New York’s Hudson Valley that killed at least one person, swamped roadways and forced road closures on Sunday night, as much of the rest of the Northeast U.S. braced Monday for potentially punishing rains.
As the storm moved east, the National Weather Service extended flash flood warnings into Connecticut, including the cities of Stamford and Greenwich, before creeping into Massachusetts. Forecasters said some areas could get as much as 5 inches (12 centimeters) of rain.
In New York's Hudson Valley, rescue teams found the body of a woman in her 30s who drowned after being swept away while trying to evacuate her home, Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus told WABC-TV. Officials were waiting for the medical examiner's office to arrive, he said. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Bloomberg
Building a Strong ESG Program Can Fuel Growth and Reduce Company Risk
June 19, 2023 — The Hartford Staff - The Hartford Insights
Companies are addressing today’s evolving ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) issues like they never have before. From climate change to diversity, equity and inclusion, these topics are at the forefront of discussion for businesses, with many seeking to understand stakeholder concerns and implement strategies to improve their ESG efforts.
Stakeholders – consumers, investors and employees alike – have recently become more vocal and united in their demand for sustainable corporate behavior. In fact, 83% of consumers think companies should be actively working on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) program best practices and 86% of employees prefer to support or work for companies that care about the same issues they do.1 In turn, companies are addressing these issues like they never have before, in recognition of their importance as indicators of long-term value. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of The Hartford Staff, The Hartford Insights
First Circuit Rejects Insurer’s “Insupportable” Duty-to-Cooperate Defense in Arson Coverage Suit
October 24, 2023 — Geoffrey B. Fehling & Yaniel Abreu - Hunton Insurance Recovery Blog
In Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. BAS Holding Corp.
, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected an insurer’s “insupportable” defense that the insured company had breached its duty to cooperate by refusing the insurer’s request for an examination under oath of the company’s president. The decision is a reminder that, while examinations under oath can be effective tools to allow the insurer to properly investigate a claim, an insured’s duty to cooperate is not boundless and does not demand attendance at examinations that are not reasonably requested.
BAS Holding involves the destruction of a landmark building in Boston by an arsonist. The owner, BAS Holding Corporation, submitted an insurance claim to its property insurer to recover insurance proceeds for the damage to the building. The insurer investigated the claim to determine whether the damage to the building was covered and issued a reservation of rights letter suggesting that the policy may not provide coverage for the fire. As part of its investigation, the insurer requested an examination under oath as a condition to coverage under the policy, which led to BAS presenting the property’s operations coordinator for an interview. Shortly after examining the operations coordinator, the insurer sought another examination of BAS’s president and owner, as well as five other employees. In response, BAS questioned whether the additional examinations were “reasonably required” and said that it would consider the requests if the insurer could explain why they were necessary.
Reprinted courtesy of Geoffrey B. Fehling, Hunton Andrews Kurth
and Yaniel Abreu, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Mr. Fehling may be contacted at gfehling@HuntonAK.com
Mr. Abreu may be contacted at yabreu@HuntonAK.com Read the full story...
Nevada Legislature Burns Insurers' Rights to Offer Eroding Limits
August 28, 2023 — William S. Bennett - Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
Nevada’s legislature recently passed a groundbreaking law imposing two prohibitions on insurers. First, the law prohibits insurers from issuing or renewing any liability insurance policy with an “eroding limits” provision. While the first section of the law will have the most immediate effects, the statute goes further, generally prohibiting insurers from limiting the availability of coverage for the costs of defense, legal costs and fees, and other claim expenses. This second section leaves a great deal to interpretation, with the potential to massively expand policyholder rights, and may throw the traditional structure of liability insurance policies into question.
Nevada Statute §679a provides as follows:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an insurer, including, without limitation, an insurer listed in NRS 679A.160, shall not issue or renew a policy of liability insurance that contains a provision that:
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- Reduces the limit of liability stated in the policy by the costs of defense, legal costs and fees and other expenses for claims; or
- Otherwise limits the availability of coverage for the costs of defense, legal costs and fees and other expenses for claims.
Reprinted courtesy of William S. Bennett, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
Mr. Bennett may be contacted at WBennett@sdvlaw.com
PFAS and the Challenge of Cleaning Up “Forever”
July 31, 2023 — PFAS Team - Gravel2Gavel Construction & Real Estate Law Blog
From a stream of legal challenges, to ever-expanding regulations on things like cosmetics and drinking water, PFAS are the “forever chemicals” keeping companies and consumers on high alert. While industries scramble to remove the synthetic compounds from products, scientists are researching new techniques for scrubbing PFAS from the environment. There is money to be had for those who can find a more streamlined method of purging the substances—the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has an $800 million contract on the table for the handling, destruction and replacement of PFAS-laden fire-fighting foam—leaving technology companies racing to create solutions. The three main PFAS cleaning techniques currently relied upon can be very effective but are also costly and may leave questionable byproducts in their wake.
The established approaches include:
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- Granular Activated Carbon. As one of the most studied treatments for PFAS removal, granular activated carbon is often used in water treatment plants. Large beds of carbon essentially soak up the unwanted chemicals. After the Sweeney Water Plant in North Carolina, whose water source is downstream from a fluorochemical-producing Chemours plant, was found to be contaminated with PFAS, the plant invested around $46 million into upgraded activated carbon systems. Once installed, these systems cost roughly $2.9 million to operate yearly, as the carbon needs to be replaced each time it reaches capacity. Though pricey, the plant says that the process now clears close to 100% of PFAS.
Reprinted courtesy of PFAS Team, Pillsbury
Beyond Inverse Condemnation in Wildfire Litigation: An Oregon Jury Finds Utility Liable for Negligence, Trespass and Nuisance
July 10, 2023 — Marisa Miller, John Yacovelle & Kazim Naqvi - Sheppard Mullin
On June 10, 2023, a jury in Portland, Oregon found PacifiCorp and Pacific Power (collectively, “PacifiCorp”) liable for negligence, trespass, and nuisance based on a series of four wildfires that occurred during Labor Day weekend in 2020. PacifiCorp prevailed against the plaintiffs on the claim of inverse condemnation. With respect to the tort-based claims, the jury awarded approximately $72 million in compensatory damages to 17 plaintiffs. The jury later found PacifiCorp liable for $18 million in punitive damages, or one quarter of the compensatory damages that the jury awarded to the 17 plaintiffs. The jury’s liability findings apply to a broader class of owners, whose damages will need to be individually proven in a yet-to-be defined second phase of proceedings. Post-verdict motion practice and appeals may affect the jury’s findings.
Reprinted courtesy of Marisa Miller, Sheppard Mullin
, John Yacovelle, Sheppard Mullin
and Kazim Naqvi, Sheppard Mullin
Ms. Miller may be contacted at email@example.com
Mr. Yacovelle may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Naqvi may be contacted at email@example.com
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