SESSION 1 - Presentation (A) Don't Let Them Bite! - Cutting Edge Risk Management and Litigation Strategies for Responding to Bed Bug Infestation Claims
Thomas Deardorff, Exponent
Victoria Ersoff, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP
Gabriel Kotch, Orange Lake Resorts/Holiday Inn Club Vacations
Joseph P. Menello, Wicker, Smith, O'Hara, McCoy & Ford, P.A.
The old bedtime adage "sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite," has grown to hold new meaning. Since the turn of the millennium, reports of bed bug infestations in hotels, resorts, cruise ships, apartments, homes, hospitals, retail establishments, and many other places that fall under the umbrella of the hospitality industry have skyrocketed at an alarming rate. For the past few decades, bed bugs were considered a pest of the past, but now, bed bugs have reappeared causing what many are concerned will be a global bed bug epidemic. This seminar provides background on what bed bugs actually are, why they have reappeared, and offers some surprising national statistics confirming the bed bug resurgence. It also provides an overview of effective methods to handle bed bug claims, the costs of treating and eradicating a bed bug infestation and risk management pointers to address issues associated with media and internet attention given to bed bugs, including, internet postings, online blogs and "bed bug registries." Finally, the seminar helps the hospitality industry develop, amend and/or refine their current protocol for dealing with this rising national concern.Back to top
SESSION 1 - Presentation (B) Legionellosis - The Evolving Expectations and How to Handle an Alleged Outbreak
James Eiler, Murchison & Cumming, LLP
Vic Marmo, Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation
Jeffrey Peters, Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
Legionellosis is a one-hour program designed to provide insurance adjusters with a working knowledge of the sources and causes of Legionnaires’ disease. We expect our water systems to be safe, but one organism occasionally evades our water treatment systems, the Legionella bacterium. Exposure to elevated amounts of Legionella in susceptible individuals can cause them to contract Legionnaires’ disease (LD). The bacterium is named after the 1976 outbreak, when many people who went to a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion suffered from this disease. This session defines the methods used to investigate and identify these organisms and a review of the latest regulations. We also explore effective ways to minimize the impact when an outbreak occurs. Where to start, how to deploy resources, and the roles of insured, insurer and defense counsel will be discussed.Back to top
SESSION 2 - Presentation (A) What Security is Required? Defending Against Negligent Security Claims
Pam Colpoys, Ashford, Inc.
Lance Ewing, Cotton Holdings, Inc.
Cathleen Rebar, Rebar Kelly
Jessica Smythe, ISO Claims Partners
Risk Managers, Claims Professionals and Attorneys handling litigation arising in the Retail, Restaurant and Hospitality Industries are all too familiar with claims involving injuries stemming from alleged negligent security claims. This presentation will provide a road map to avoiding litigation arising from security based claims as well as coverage issues associated with those claims. We will explore the importance of performing a security assessment, providing training and education to staff, having processes and procedures for reporting and documenting incidents, and in understanding the application of the legal duty to the alleged facts and the corresponding coverage implications. The program will also focus on establishing a particularized defense for claims in litigation. Participants will walk away from the presentation with a firm understanding of the legal obligations owed by the Retail, Restaurant and Hospitality Industry, as well as the complicated duties owed by defense counsel in defending those claims given the coverage landscape.Back to top
SESSION 2 - Presentation (B) Emerging Issues in the Litigation and Coverage of Liquor Liability Cases
LaBella Alvis, Christian & Small LLP
Tamara Glaser, Tyson & Mendes LLP
Cheryl Soares, Arch Insurance Group Inc.
When it comes to liquor liability litigation, the threshold for many states is whether there is evidence that an individual was served alcohol while showing signs of visible intoxication. In the absence of eye-witness testimony, an emerging trend among Plaintiffs is to try to establish visible intoxication through a toxicologist who extrapolates or “back-tracks” what an intoxicated individual’s blood alcohol content was at the time of the accident to what it would have likely been while at a defendant’s establishment. This discussion addresses the emergence of backtracking, its affect on liquor liability litigation, and policies and procedures establishments can utilize to limit its application as it relates to various State and Federal Courts nationwide.Back to top
SESSION 3 - Presentation (A) Recognizing, Insuring, Preventing and Mitigating Against Losses at Major Entertainment and Marketing Events
Michael Montgomery, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP
Charlie Shah, Event Operations Group
J. Britton Stutts, Harmon Dennis Bradshaw, Inc
As marketing and business merge more and more, hospitality, retail and restaurant sectors are all now hosting a wide array of entertainment events. These events range from small to extremely large. Moreover, mega-resort hotels and casinos all over the country routinely host high-profile concerts and major sporting events. In each instance, the business owners face major potential risks. A security plan is not enough! This session will address the risks involved and provide tips on how to prevent them, as well as how best to acquire specific and adequate insurance to cover the events. Also, the presentation will provide real world examples of what to do (and what not to do) that will both entertain and inform the participants. Finally, the panel will give insight on how best to address issues that can occur even with best practices and planning.Back to top
SESSION 3 - Presentation (B) Video Surveillance: Treasure or Trap?
Rick D. Norris, Christian & Small LLP
Ellen Osborn, Office Depot, Inc.
Stephen Truono, NFI Industries
In this day and age where people can snap photographs and videos on their phones, the use of photographs and surveillance footage in litigation is becoming more prevalent and powerful. This presentation will explore different types of surveillance, whether fixed premises surveillance or investigation footage obtained for hire, and the best practices for the retention and storage of each. We will also discuss strategies for when and how to use footage during the investigation and litigation, and explore spoliation and privacy issues. The presentation will include clips from sample surveillance videos to demonstrate the topics covered.Back to top
Central Florida Chapter Meeting
Breakfast & Keynote Speaker
SESSION 4 - Presentation (A) General Liability and Workers' Compensation Issues Unique to the Hotel Industry
Sherri Johnson, Aimbridge Hospitality
Rich Lenkov, Bryce Downey & Lenkov LLC
Cameron Shirley, P.F. Chang’s
While some aspects of defending hospitality issue claims are similar to any other claim, in many ways they are not. A variety of considerations often present in hospitality settings, discussed below, require specialized training to deal with and defend these unique circumstances. This panel of hotel industry professionals will give you insight into some of the most difficult claims and leave you with practical, real-world tips to use in your everyday practice.Back to top
SESSION 4 - Presentation (B) Spoliation in Retail and Hotel Post-Incident Investigations: When is it Really Spoliation?
Alonzo Johnson, City of North Las Vegas
Michael Lowry, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Renee Ramirez, American Airlines
Claimants’ counsel constantly send preservation letters instructing retailers and hoteliers to preserve the world and then later accuse them of spoliation if a fly so much as landed in a spot on the floor at any time during the 36 months between the incident and site inspection. What is spoliation? How does it impact post-incident investigations? What do retailers and hoteliers need to preserve? How can they identify substantive spoliation as opposed to hot air from claimants’ counsel? This session provides risk professionals the information they need to evaluate what evidence they need to keep, whether spoliation has actually occurred and its likely impact upon a claim should it go to litigation.Back to top
SESSION 5 - Presentation (A) Wielding the Weapon - A Guide to the Practical and Strategic Use of Social Media in Litigation
Melanie R. Cheairs, Lorance Thompson, P.C.
Joshua Jakubowski, Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
Christopher Page, Young Moore and Henderson, P.A.
The social media revolution has changed the face of society and it is increasingly changing the face of litigation. Evidence that previously could be obtained only through surveillance or hard won discovery battles is now available at the click of mouse. Thousands of reported cases in the last five years show how social media evidence is relevant to both personal injury and commercial litigation. This panel will discuss those cases and offer strategic and practical advice on obtaining all available social media evidence from a party opponent via informal and formal discovery. It will also discuss the evidentiary rules that must be addressed to use this evidence at trial, including relevance, authenticity and exclusionary rules. Lastly, this panel will offer advice and tips on a social media topic not often discussed: strategic considerations for obtaining and using social media evidence in discovery and trial, including whether and when to pull out the “smoking gun” to surprise the party opponent and effectively “sink” their case.Back to top
SESSION 5 - Presentation (B) How to Be Secure in an Unsecure World
Brian Bassett, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP
Karen Painter Randall, Connell Foley LLP
Howard Panensky, Willis Towers Watson
Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a law firm no organization today is immune from the threat of a costly data security breach. Between 2011 and 2012, security breaches were seen across various industries from retailers such as Amazon’s Zappos to marketing firms such as Epsilon, to defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin. Perhaps the most publicized breach took place in 2013, when hackers stole data from up to 40 million credit and debit cards of Target shoppers who visited its stores during the first three weeks of the holiday season. It was reported as the second-largest such breach involving a U.S. retailer. These security thefts have led to the filing of numerous lawsuits, including class actions, across the country. As a result, this presentation, using real life cybersecurity hypotheticals, will focus on what steps businesses, law firms and the insurance industry must take to not only protect confidential information to avoid cyber liability, but also how to timely respond to a cyber-breach once same occurs. Furthermore, this presentation will discuss other cyber related issues included the type of coverage required to protect a business from a cyber loss, as well as issues dealing with social media.Back to top
No Learning Objectives Available