Claims & Litigation Management - Session 1 - David vs. Goliath: How and Why to Personalize the Corporate Client in Litigation
Kevin Arnold, Discount Tire
Victoria Karpinski, Sprouts Farmers Market
Richard Somes, Tyson & Mendes LLP
Don Zeman, Golden State Claims Adjusters
Every company has a story. Not a boring summary off a website, but a personal story. A story of family, pride in ownership, and standing in the community. So why do juries typically hear about a massive, faceless, deep-pocketed corporation when it comes time to deliberate? Getting a jury to identify with your corporate client is critical, especially when it comes to damages. Jurors will impose higher damages awards against corporate defendants when they cannot relate to the corporation on a human level. Without that connection, a corporate defendant runs the risk of being viewed as a faceless brand name with a big bank account. This panel with experience in retail risk management, claims handling, and retail litigation defense will discuss why the corporate story is so important to tell, how taking a customer service mindset early in the case can maximize the chances of early and favorable resolution, and strategies to cast your company in the best possible light when in front of a jury.Back to top
Claims & Litigation Management - Session 3 - Insurance Claims in the Instagram Age: Using Technology and Social Media to Investigate Bodily Injury, Property Damage, and Business Interruption Claims
Diana Castiov Weller, Kennedys
Jarred Dichek, Kubicki Draper
Paul Juster, Assurant
Jennifer Newell, FedNat Insurance Company
This interactive presentation will use three case studies to explore the use of technology and social media in investigating different types of claims. The first case study will focus on a motor vehicle accident and how social media investigations can aid insurers in obtaining background information on the incident and claimant and evaluate potential exposure. The second part of the session will focus on a hurricane claim and the use of online sources including pictometry to evaluate a property damage claim. The third case study will focus on a restaurant’s COVID-19 related business interruption claim and the use of surveillance and imagery in investigating that claim. Presenters will walk through the investigation process from the time each claim is reported through litigation. Specific examples of claim investigation techniques and pitfalls will be discussed. Additionally, panelists will provide tips on preserving, authenticating, and effectively relying on the information discovered during the claim investigation and litigation processes.Back to top
Claims & Litigation Management - Session 5 - Social Inflation and Other Factors Driving Liability Claim Costs
Dylan Braverman, Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nichols and Porter, L.L.P.
Allison Daly, Sedgwick
Brenda Lillington, University of California
Gary Linder, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C.
Today businesses must contend with social inflation, nuclear verdicts, broadening definitions of liability, and an increasingly litigious society. Large, unexpected claim costs can have a notable effect on a company's bottom line. The question is whether these tendencies are real and if businesses can develop strategies to address them. This session will review recent liability trends and identify some of the strategies and best practices that are emerging in today’s environment.Back to top
Claims & Litigation Management - Session 7 - Alternative Dispute Resolution and Experts in a Post-COVID Landscape
Steven Bardsley, Bardsley, Benedict + Cholden, LLP
Jacob Fisher, Exponent
Joe Hassinger, Galloway
Cynthia Heaney, AXIS Insurance
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has long been available as a trial substitute. The use of expert testimony in ADR, such as a mediation or arbitration, is generally an option, but an option infrequently availed. ADR is often a perfunctory step in the process, a little-to-lose opportunity to see if a case could be resolved quickly, easily, and cost-effectively without a big production or direct testimony of expert witnesses. However, COVID-19 is changing the ADR landscape. With many courts reluctant to seat juries in many regions of the country, a backlog of cases is waiting to be tried. And as courts do begin holding jury trials again, criminal cases will need to be prioritized ahead of civil suits. These circumstances make ADR not only the good option to bring a case to resolution in a timely fashion, but also an opportunity to put one's best case forward with a full work-up, which in earlier times might have been reserved for trial. These circumstances could very well change the decision-making calculus of whether expert testimony is offered during ADR if both sides want to make their most thorough and most complete arguments at ADR. Also, in a post-COVID world, in which everyone, including the courts, is used to videoconferencing and even offering testimony remotely, there are new possibilities for involving experts more frequently in the ADR process.Back to top
Claims & Litigation Management - Networking
Claims & Litigation Management - Session 10 - The Holy Grail of Data Analytics: The Quest to Drive Better Outcomes
Linda Lane, Harbor Health Systems
Dave Lynch, GameStop, Inc.
Scott Rogers, Sedgwick
Heather Watson, Exponent
The saying goes, don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees – this is especially meaningful when it comes to the big picture in workers compensation. The workers compensation industry largely focuses on reducing costs on a micro level. When in reality, looking at the macro level of a claim could result in better-managed care and reduced costs. Join this presentation to learn of using data analytics to drive better outcomes.Back to top
Environmental - Session 2 - Covid-19’s Impact to Date on Non-Covid Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation
Attendees to this session will learn: how COVID-19 has impacted non-COVID environmental and toxic tort litigation to date; practical considerations for claims professionals and outside counsel during COVID-19; how different courts and states are handling discovery, court conferences, and their respective docket management in environmental and toxic tort matters; of the impact of COVID-19 on ongoing pollution cases and cleanups; and, how COVID-19 has impacted the federal, state, and local agencies and laboratories tasked with enforcing environmental laws and regulations.Back to top
Environmental - Session 4 - Assessing the Impacts of Often Overlooked Risk Factors in Environmental Claims Management
Presenters will address often overlooked factors driving growth in claims, such as counterparty risk and remedy failure risk, including with respect to emerging contaminants and COVID-19 shutdown impacts on schedule and cost. These and other risk factors will be discussed, and tools and methods will be presented for proactively assessing these risks and optimizing strategies to manage the associated liabilities. Case examples will be used to highlight the application of these methods to improve financial outcomes.Back to top
Environmental - Session 6 - Water Water Everywhere
Kay Baxter, Foley & Mansfield, PLLP
Dawn Dezii, Margolis Edelstein
Guy Hollingsworth, Hanover Insurance
Thinking about contaminated water usually leads to discussions about environmental liability, Flint Michigan and other impacted urban communities. The ground water and drinking water supply is impacted by more than lead. Rather, many toxic chemicals are found in the water supply. These chemicals are used in the production of cookware, clothing, adhesives, gasoline, fertilizers, and agricultural runoff. There is limited governmental regulation of the level of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) or Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and/or other chemicals. This group of substances is comprised of at least 4,700 synthetic chemicals. No agency is ensuring that these chemicals are being removed from your drinking water. The potential health effects from these chemicals are real. There are at least six (6) major diseases of concern, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, thyroid cancer, testicular cancer, kidney cancer and hypertension. These chemicals stay in the body of long periods of time and the health effects are largely known. However, the earth’s surface is 71% covered by water, and there is great concern about the water supply. Finding and keeping the water supply clear and pure is vital. Attendees will gain a knowledge of an emerging field of environmental litigation and explore this new area of the law which is ever changing and growing. As water is essential, clean water is the most important environmental consideration.Back to top
Environmental - Networking
Environmental - Session 9 - Redevelopments: Insuring the Environmental Risks and Managing the Claims
Kimberly MacDonald, AXA XL
Brian Margolies, Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan LLP
Peter J. Mintzer, Selman Breitman
Patricia Shippee, Great American Insurance Group
This session will look into the environmental aspects of risk management and risk transfer of a redevelopment project, including insuring the risks. Presenters will also discuss some of the common loss scenarios involving pollution and how to approach and manage claim scenarios.Back to top
Insurance Fraud - Session 1 - Considering Cultural Background in Conducting Fraud Investigation
Phaidra Garcia, McDowell Shaw Garcia & Patton
Dwight Geddes, Metro Claims & Risk Mgmt
Gene A. Weisberg, GladstoneWeisberg ALC
Conducting an SIU/potential fraud investigation of a company’s own insured is a sensitive task in light of the obligations an insurer owes to its policyholder while at the same time adequately investigating to determine whether there has been a misrepresentation or concealment of material facts. It is important to be aware of the effect that the insured’s cultural background has on his or her living situation and practices to avoid assuming conduct is suspicious when it is culturally normal. On the other hand, cultural practices may provide clues to improper conduct. Making missteps on this subject, whether in a recorded statement or an examination under oath, could lead to a wrong answer regarding whether fraud is being committed, and could expose the insurer to extra-contractual liability due to being perceived as treating their policyholder insensitively and improperly. The presenters will discuss these topics and give pointers on how to obtain information effectively regarding a claim without being inadvertently offensive to an insured’s culture.Back to top
Insurance Fraud - Session 3 - Danger, Danger Will Robinson: Navigating Fraud in the New AI Terrain
Maria Elena Abate, Colodny Fass, P.A.
Carl Nemeth, Tower Hill Insurance Group, LLC
Mariela Perez-Pennock, Assurant
Charles Watkins, Kubicki Draper
This presentation will introduce the construct of Artificial Intelligence (AI), its application and potential impact in everyday life, and its ability to detect fraud in all aspects of insurance.
Presenters will discuss the varied types of AI, their design, and primary uses; as well as the use of AI in fraud detection, from Point of Sale (POS), to Underwriting and Claims. Discussion will include software programs which are available in the industry, and their capabilities and primary focus. Emphasis will be placed on the fraud detection and prevention capabilities of AI, and its ability to recognize and detect fraud patterns, and the application of this in daily claims handling.
Join us to learn of the pros and cons of adapting AI in the insurance industry, including the effect IoT sensors may have on premiums, machine learning, and fraud scoring.
Insurance Fraud - Session 6 - How to Manage the Wealth in Pain Management
Vincent Gerbino, Bruno Gerbino Soriano & Aitken
Cathy Gicker, Allstate Insurance Company
Mary Sadousky, MetLife, Inc.
This presentation will address the use of injections by pain management physicians and their teams, before surgical recommendations in soft tissue cases. The presenters also address payments available under PIP and LOP with the medical team that may provide the service.Back to top
Insurance Fraud - Session 7 - Pulling the EUO Sword from the Policy Stone
Mary Beiter, PURE Insurance
Mark Carlton, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman
Jim Pattillo, Christian & Small LLP
Following the article published in the March issue of CLM Magazine, the presenters will address all things EUO, including when to use it, the pre-examination document request, using it to combat fraud, correspondence with the insured regarding the examination, and the case law addressing the parameters of the EUO and how it can be used in litigation.Back to top
Insurance Fraud - Networking
Insurance Fraud - Session 10 - Rising Risk and Economic Hardship: Insights on Fighting Fraud in Uncertain Times
Jim Hulett, Verisk
Jeffrey Rapattoni, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin
Daniel Thenell, The Thenell Law Group
Brent Walker, Travelers
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the insurance industry, and its economic effects are expected to reverberate well into 2021, even as we emerge from social distancing measures. Forced business closures caused the economy to contract, and job losses reached a record high with more than 30 million people filing for unemployment as of the end of April 2020.
Historically, economic crisis has been fertile ground for claims fraud, and there’s already been an 18 percent increase in questionable claims in the first few months of the current economic downturn, according to industry data. As insurers navigate the economic fallout, claims professionals and investigators need to be vigilant of trends in both soft, opportunistic fraud—such as attempts to pad claims or file fake losses—as well as organized criminal activity that spans all lines of business.
This presentation will explore emerging fraud risk based on industrywide data, historical trends from the last economic recession, as well as the best practices, strategies, and technology to combat current fraud schemes.
Property - Session 2 - Business Interruption Update: Developing Law Arising Out of COVID-19
Madhu Ahuja, Ahuja & Clark, PLLC
Rodney Patterson, Seneca Insurance Co.
Rhonda Thompson, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons LLP
Discussion will focus on updates around the country related to business interruption and similar policy coverages with particular emphasis on the impact of the prolific COVID-19-related lawsuits on policy interpretation and overall claims issues.Back to top
Property - Session 3 - Did You Feel It? Construction Vibrations in Your Property
Robert T. Johnson, Catalytic Claims Services
Stuart Mintz, Custard Insurance Adjusters Inc.
Stephen Seeger, Cozen O’Connor
Antonios Vytiniotis, Exponent
Construction vibrations can often be felt in properties near construction sites. Such vibrations may be a nuisance to residents but can sometimes contribute to property damage. Property owners experiencing construction-induced vibrations may file claims for nuisance or cosmetic and structural damages. Since the vibration threshold for nuisance is typically lower than the threshold to cause any damage, property owners may express concerns about vibrations that are not substantial enough to damage their property.
This presentation will discuss construction vibration and propagation toward structures, human perception of vibrations, their effects to structures, and a few of the complexities when claims attributed to such vibrations need to be adjusted and/or litigated.
Property - Session 8 - Lessons Learned from Covid-19 on the Insurance Industry and Property Claims
Laura Cornish, Lightstone
Thomas Fama, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP
Terence Kadlec, Envista Forensics
Jennifer Wojciechowski, Community Association Underwriters of America, Inc.
To no one’s surprise, COVID-19 is the hottest topic of 2020; no industry, profession, or individual has been spared from the conversation. Executive orders shuttered businesses and changed the face (figuratively and literally) of industries everywhere. As we return to [new] normalcy following the quick shutdown and the pandemic itself, we’ve witnessed how vulnerable every industry, profession, and individual truly was. Businesses locked their doors in the face of the pandemic with no continuity plans for preserving goods. Contractors abandoned construction projects sites in unfinished states. The examples are endless. No matter the industry, where vulnerabilities were not properly planned for, or addressed prior to the shutdown, losses were inevitable. Who bears the burden associated with the losses? The business owner, contractor, insurance carrier, government, or purely an act of God? Who bears the ultimate responsibility? This panel discussion explores emerging trends related to these issues and how various parties have approached these claims, as well as anticipating what has yet to be argued. The presenters will explore force majeure clauses, as well as legal strategies that have been attempted. The discussion explores lessons learned with foresight in anticipation of what’s to come, whether COVID-20 or something else yet to be known.Back to top
Property - Networking
Property - Session 10 - Natural Disasters and Dealing with the New Reality of Catastrophic Claims
Steven Korasidas, McLarens Global Claims Services
Seth Weinstein, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
The new reality of previously inconceivable but now regular and immensely costly natural disasters presents new opportunities and challenges for claim resolution professionals resulting from these disasters as the post-disaster lifecycle and associated lawsuits commence. While many claim professionals will force and others will defend against direct damages from disaster exposure, many other savvy claim professionals may look to force defect and maintenance damage claims on to unsuspecting policy issuers.
The drawn line between the damage-causing disaster and maintenance and construction defects is becoming more and more blurred leaving many claim professionals with uneven footing when determining cause, notice, and reasonable damage and coverage values. More challenging still, the number of potential defendants multiplies as the considerable disaster damages total.
In this presentation, we explore this evolving world of natural disaster claims. We discuss the opportunities for success in the application of sound claimant and defendant practice, litigation best practices, and how future litigation may be affected.
Subrogation - Session 2 - I’ve Heard It Both Ways: A Debate Regarding What Subrogation Practices Really are “Best” Practices
Vivian Conley, Markel Service, Incorporated
Dustin Looser, Central Mutual Insurance Company
Jessica Skarin, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP
Annette Tarquinio, Engle Martin & Associates, Inc.
As subrogation professionals, we all work to engage in best practices. Sometimes though there is a difference of opinion regarding what exactly those best practices should be. As with most things in life, there is more than one way to go about things. This presentation applies that mindset to the subrogation field and discusses issues upon which seasoned subrogation professionals themselves may disagree. Presenters will play devil’s advocate with each other as they discuss a number of topics; and, no “right” answers will be presented. Rather the presenters will facilitate a discussion of the pros and cons for varying opinions in the context of varying claim scenarios.Back to top
Subrogation - Session 4 - The Challenges, Pitfalls, and Successes of a Cohesive Large Loss Response Team
Lawrence Bowman, Kane Russell Coleman & Logan, PC
Michael Driscoll, Envista Forensics
Samuel Pace, Dugan Brinkman Maginnis & Pace
Joe Slane, Engle Martin & Associates, Inc.
A panel of experts discuss their individual roles and responsibilities during a major loss response. This presentation will aid in the understanding of the complexity of developing and maintaining a cohesive team during a long duration event. Each member of the team has expectations of one another and must fully understand the contribution each brings to a major loss response. The panel members will discuss their experiences, both positive and negative, which have resulted in both turmoil and successful outcomes. The subrogation and claims professional will better understand the importance of having a cohesive team that works together to bring about the expedient and positive conclusion to a large/catastrophic event.Back to top
Subrogation - Session 5 - Where's the Beef? Subrogating Livestock Claims
Fran Brooks, PMA Companies
Patrick Riedlinger, Envista Forensics
Mark Solomon, Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C.
Amy Zeiders, Inservco Insurance Services, Inc.
Presenters will focus on the basics of livestock subrogation claims in Texas and across the country concentrating on the topic of livestock laws and how they relate to subrogating automobile claims.
The session will center on the history of livestock laws, the difference between open and closed range as it relates to livestock, and how to identify a claim for subrogation potential. Attendees will find the topic interesting as they will be amazed at how many auto crashes there are in a given year involving livestock.
Subrogation - Session 7 - Science or Fiction: The Art of Allocation in Claims
Bert Dizon, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Andy Guerra, Envista Forensics
David McLain, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
Christina Washington, AIC, SCLA, AINS, Vela Insurance Services LLC
Allocation methodologies used in claims are far too speculative, often absent of verifiable scientific approaches and typically reliant on subjective and biased opinions. Allocating responsibility between interested parties often skews from reality in (for example) complex construction defect matters, which often include numerous interested parties with associated experts pointing fingers at everyone else. This has come to be expected in the litigious construction defect market; however, the question remains: Is this method productive in resolving claims and lawsuits in a legitimate and equitable manner?
Presenters will explore typical approaches currently used with a focus on lessons learned from actual cases. This discussion benefits all attendees through identifying and developing reliable, supportable methods for allocation, while eliminating the unfounded and subjective approaches used haphazardly in today’s insurance market.
Subrogation - Networking
Subrogation - Session 9 - Subrogation is Like Picking a Puppy: The Best Claims Don’t Always Jump on You and Lick Your Face
James Busenlener, Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C.
Michael Jonescu, Enstar Group (U.S.)
Jason Lowe, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP
Marcus Reath, McLarens Global Claims Services
Subrogation potential is not always the eager puppy of the litter who runs to you and jumps into your arms, covering you with an excess of salivary interest. Sometimes, the best subrogation claims are like the runt who hangs back, feigning indifference, and sniffing a flower as competing files clamor for your attention. In this session, the presenters will discuss hard to identify subrogation claims that are often ignored until too late. Examples include contribution actions against other insurers, equitable subrogation, and claims against independent agents or certification professionals whose actions create a coverage obligation which would not otherwise exist.Back to top
Cannabis - Session 1 - Product and Liability Issues Facing the Growing Cannabis Industry
Jodi Green, Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan LLP
Dale Mann, ESI (Engineering Systems Inc.)
Melissa Roeder, Foley & Mansfield, PLLP
Phillip Skaggs, American Association of Insurance Services
Kelly Yates, Topa Insurance Company
As the legalization of cannabis grows, we are faced with product liability issues surrounding labeling (lack of warnings and impermissible cure-all promises) of THC and CBD products ranging from topical and edibles to vaping products and the lipid pneumonia cases filed around the country. There are also issues with damaged or dead crops from outside sources, as well as the potential for harm with a processing facility within its own operation. Finally, learn about the coverage areas available and what affects the insurers decision to issue a policy. The presentation will provide claims professionals, risk managers, and attorneys with insight into each level of cannabis operations.Back to top
Cannabis - Session 4 - THC, CBD, and Me: The ABC’s of Cannabis and its Effect on Claims, Medicine, Legislation, and Litigation
Richard Dowd, Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc.
Ronald A. Mazariegos, Arrowpoint Capital
Johan Obregon, Kerley Walsh Matera & Cinquemani PC
Robert Witmeyer, Cooper & Scully, P.C.
With the explosion of CBD and Hemp products on the market as well as the tremendous growth of medical marijuana use amongst patients, Cannabis is more popular than ever. While the grey area of the legality of marijuana and CBD still exists, more and more doctors, plaintiffs, carriers, and legal authorities are starting to embrace Cannabis as a legitimate form of alternative medical treatment. This presentation will explore the most recent developments in medical marijuana, Hemp, and CBD with a particular emphasis on the effect Cannabis has on claims, litigation, and legislation. The presenters will provide the carrier’s perspective and real-world practical solutions to dealing with medical marijuana and CBD in claims.Back to top
Cannabis - Session 6 - Election Results and the Prospects for Cannabis Reform
Andrew Kline, National Cannabis Industry Association
Patrick McManamon, Cannasure Insurance Services
Ian Stewart, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
This presentation will take place on the day following the 2020 election. Based on the results, the presenters will discuss the prospects for federal marijuana legalization and the outcome of state ballot initiatives. Joining this session are the Director of Public Policy for the National Cannabis Industry Association and the CEO of the cannabis industry's leading insurance solution. Issues to be discussed include cannabis-related legislation in the upcoming Congressional term, SAFE Banking, protections for insurance companies, opportunities for government through cannabis taxes and municipal bonds, pathways for regulation of cannabis by federal agencies, continued protections for the cannabis industry in budget amendments, and coalition building through public/private partnerships around cannabis. Also discussed will be the impact of the election results on the cannabis insurance industry.Back to top
Cannabis - Session 8 - Working in the Weeds: Employer Liability for Cannabis-Related Claims
Kyle Norman, CSE Insurance Group
Louis Pippin, McLarens Global Claims Services
Victor Xu, Goldberg Segalla LLP
As legalization of cannabis and cannabis derived products sweep the country, employers and claims professionals in many industries, particularly those in the hospitality, retail, and restaurant industries are scrambling to catch-up to comply with new regulations while working to minimize potential risk and liability associated with a product that remains illegal on the federal level. This presentation provides both the most up-to-date information regarding cannabis regulation and practical guidance regarding best practices for employment policies and risk management.Back to top
Cannabis - Networking
Cannabis - Session 9 - Cannabis: Navigating the Federal and State Regulatory Scheme
Summer Jenkins, Cannasure Insurance Services
Jennifer Mason, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Kim Sveska, Foley, Baron, Metzger & Juip, PLLC
Brenda Wells, East Carolina University
Federal and State Cannabis (Hemp and Marijuana) regulations continue to be a patchwork of rules that often collide and which are difficult to identify and navigate. These challenges have been complicated by recent enforcement efforts by the FDA and FTC, as well as private litigation. In this presentation, we will discuss current regulations impacting Hemp and Marijuana products, including but not limited to CBD. The discussion will focus on a Federal and a State Overview, interaction between State and Federal Regulations, preemption, labeling and packaging, banking, and more.Back to top