SESSION 1 - Current Issues: Air, Land and Sea Transportation
Richard Furman, Kennedys CMK
Selena Ho, Markel Service, Incorporated
W. Brett Mason, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C.
Dennis Minichello, Marwedel, Minichello & Reeb, P.C.
This panel will provide an overview of current issues facing shippers and transportation intermediaries, including ocean carriers, motor carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers in their handling and transportation of cargo in the United States. This panel will highlight the current status and challenges faced by participants in the transportation of cargo and will offer both insight and practical approaches to the handling of loss and damage claims which occur during that transportation.
SESSION 1 - Uber: Uncommon Carrier Becomes Common
Floyd Cottrell, Cottrell Solensky, P.A.
Kenton Kaplan, Claim Professionals Liability Insurance Company
John Ramirez, Bush & Ramirez, PLLC
Uber currently lives two different lives in the justice system. In some jurisdictions, Uber insists it is an app company not subject to regulation by the government. In other jurisdictions, where––incidentally––the government seeks to embrace the company’s services, Uber pushes for regulations specific to its business model, separate and apart from regulations applicable to taxi services.
Most state and city governments that have embraced Uber’s business model have come up with new definitions to classify such an organization, and have passed unique regulations under which Uber must operate. Because these regulations are generally far more forgiving than those under which taxi companies must operate, those companies are seeking court intervention to stop what they perceive as unfair competition, outlining the history of taxi regulation and the rationale for the existence of said regulations.
Insurance companies are faced with the question of how to classify a vehicle used for Uber services. In addition, some insurance companies have made the decision not to insure such multi-use vehicles, in spite of Uber’s popularity being on the rise.
Uber’s inventive business model has rocked the law boat and forced the law to catch up with current technology. What will be the ultimate decision on how to treat this company in regulatory and insurance law?
SESSION 2 - The Potential Impact of the Public's Perceptions of Trucks on Jury Selection in Accident Litigation
William A. Long, The Long Firm, LLP
Chris Massenburg, Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP
Eric Rudich, Blueprint Trial Consulting
David Shoults, First Group America
In civil trials, the jury is often the ultimate finder of fact that determines what happened and, almost always, the jury’s decision is final. Jury selection is critical to the success of a case. After looking at empirical data examining motorists’ perceptions of large trucks and public transportation, researchers have applied this data to civil litigation to see how these perceptions may affect jury selection in trials where large trucks or buses and other forms of public transportation are involved.
We will discuss an overview of jury selection; the perceptions of large trucks and other forms of public transportation among potential jurors; how the available data impacts and influences jury selection by both the plaintiffs and defendants; and the practical and ethical implications of it all.
SESSION 2 - You Decide! Are On-Board Video Systems Worth It?
Michael Lowry, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Tom McLaughlin, Transport America
Tamara Warn, C&K Trucking, LLC
Do the benefits of on-board video systems outweigh the costs of installing, monitoring and maintaining them? Do the systems actually help prevent claims or resolve them at earlier stages? Are the systems a help or hinder if the claim goes to litigation? These questions and others are front and center as transportation providers experiment with on-board video systems. This panel brings the debate to Omaha and will ask the audience to weigh in.
SESSION 3 - What Goes Up, Must Come Down: An Update on Jury Verdicts in Motor Vehicle Cases
Melanie R. Cheairs, Lorance & Thompson
Robert Horner, Markel Service, Incorporated
Nick Lanza, Lanza Law Firm, P.C.
A lively panel discussion of what drives the high verdicts, and how to effectively mitigate potentially bad cases up front when a bad case goes to trial. We will review the results of a survey on a few large motor vehicle verdicts, and what went wrong in those cases. We will also explore success stories in defending a bad case to a successful defense verdict. The case verdicts will include a cross-section of the types of commercial and personal motor vehicle cases handled by the audience daily. The audience and panel will also discuss tips, strategies, and “tricks of the trade” that have led to successful defense verdicts in a variety of over-the-road transportation litigation.
SESSION 3 - You've Just Been Notified of a Serious Collision, Now What?
Terence Milford, CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc.
Stephen Olson, Engles, Ketcham, Olson & Keith, P.C.
Tom Rush, Focus Forensics
The best claims handling decisions can be made when you have ALL of the information. Far too often, important facts and evidence are not gathered early in a claim, leaving everyone involved to think later, “if only someone had done this when we had a chance.” This presentation is intended to familiarize the audience with the types of time-critical facts and information potentially available after a collision. Specifically, the value of collecting data from vehicle event data recorders, or “black boxes,” will be discussed. “Black box" data often is a unique source of information that can answer pertinent questions about a claim, but this data is also short-lived and can be easily lost if not gathered right away. The panel will address the availability, accessibility, and importance of this data for claims management, and will provide the audience with simple go-to-guides regarding whether or not this information will be helpful to a specific claim. Additionally, the panel will address the preservation and application of other sources of facts and information collected from the collision scene, GPS data, driver logs, damage of the vehicles, pre-existing conditions of commercial motor vehicles, and cell phone data.
Keynote - Hitting the Road on Mars: Dare to Do Mighty Things
Since the beginning of time, people have been entranced by the night sky and by our nearest planetary neighbor- Mars. Come share the journey of our newest rover on Mars- the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover. Landing Curiosity on Mars in August 2012 and her astounding discoveries since then is a story of the engineering and innovation process that applies as well to space as other earthly challenges. Her exploration of Mars symbolizes all that humankind can do when we work together as a team.Back to top
SESSION 4 - Accident Investigation and Litigation: Working with Human Factors Experts
Brannon Arnold, Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial, LLC
David Cades, Exponent
Joseph R. Fowler, Fowler Hirtzel McNulty & Spaulding, LLP
This session will serve to provide guidance for the claims and litigation process of accident prevention, preparation, investigation and analysis. We will first focus on the proactive side of claims prevention and preparation with a focus on what role Human Factors experts can serve to assist risk management, claims and counsel in positioning themselves and their clients to minimize the number and severity of loss. This will be followed by a discussion of the reactive side of this work. This will include views and suggested best practices from the risk management, claims and counsel perspective related to accident investigation and response. We will continue with a discussion of the role of Human Factors experts in accident investigation and defense. Legal counsel will address the selection and retention of Human Factors experts, and how to involve these experts in the defense of claims. We will then finish with a short presentation from a Human Factors scientist, covering, from an expert’s point of view, the different support that can be offered throughout the claims and litigation process as well as providing some tips for more effectively working with experts and identifying which experts are needed.Back to top
SESSION 4 - Work Zone Safety, Operation and Incident Investigation
Work zones are areas with high potential for compromised safety for both workers and the motoring public. Demystifying the guidance and regulations associated with both establishing and working within work zones can be daunting. All the while, new and innovative protection products are entering the market and the technology for collection of data in case of an incident is rapidly evolving. This session will focus on how to interpret the standard of care for work zones, worker and driver training, emerging technologies and incident investigation, and explore means for claims mitigation.Back to top
SESSION 5 - Limitations on Liability in Domestic and International Shipping
Mitchell Ayes, Callahan & Fusco, LLC.
Joseph Cowan, Hand Arendall LLC
Janelle Griffith, Nacora Insurance Brokers, Inc. (Kuehne + Nagel Inc.)
Are you unfamiliar with the various domestic and international limitations on liability clauses for common carriers whether on land, in the air, or at sea? Attending this session will provide you with knowledge of these various provisions and a discussion of how insurance carriers, industry professionals, and attorneys can ensure their clients are protected from the ramifications of damaged goods which occur during shipping. Counsel for common carriers will learn about various types of limitation on liability provisions and whether they have been deemed valid in order to protect their clients. Insurance professionals will be able to understand how to avoid potentially costly and lengthy litigation by having their common carrier insureds enter into valid and binding limitation on liability provisions to enable their clients to effectively navigate the shipping and transportation of goods process. Industry professionals will leave the presentation with a better understanding of whether these agreements should be entered into in every shipping situation or whether the provisions should be reserved for certain situations and whether these agreements are dictated based on the type, method, or destination of the shipment.
SESSION 5 - Predictive Analytics in the Resolution of Transportation Claims
William Moye, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons LLP.
Tonya Truitt, Zurich North America
Mark Vogel, Ringler
Predictive Analytics is a decision making tool used in a variety of industries. It uses modeling of historical data to determine the likelihood of future outcomes. This session will introduce a working model that can be applied to nearly every stage of the resolution process. It will focus specifically on common elements that present in transportation claims. Attendees will be presented with learnable skills and new perspectives that will help mitigate the tension existing between parties, increase the other side’s motivation to settle without corresponding increases in “money on the table,” and realize more cost-effective and satisfying resolutions.Back to top
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