Start your morning off right with a 5K run!Back to top
Help after Harvey. The Houston Food Bank has a history of providing disaster relief, but we've never seen devastation on this scale. The food bank provides food and supplies to residents in southeast Texas who struggle to rebuild their lives. Volunteers will inspect, sort and organize donated food items.
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Still bringing comfort after Hurricane Harvey. Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston program provides home-delivered meals to disabled adults and homebound seniors over 60. The program also delivers weekend meals and a week’s worth of breakfast to over 1,100. This nutritional support helps people stay independent and in their own homes.Back to top
Hurricane Harvey had a significant impact all along Buffalo Bayou. Staff is working diligently and quickly to restore the waterway’s green spaces and trails but help is needed! Volunteers will pick up trash and debris, and shovel the enormous amounts of silt that Harvey left behind. Join us for continued clean-up and beautification post Hurricane Harvey!Back to top
A non-profit, free-of-charge bereavement center, Bo’s Place offers multiple grief support services for adults, children and families, and provides education and resources for those who assist people in grief.
Volunteers will prepare supplies for camps.
Wildcat golf courses feature elevation changes up to 100 feet, providing spectacular views of Houston's downtown skyline and the NRG Stadium complex. It also combines links-style layouts with Texas Hill Country topography, Houston hospitality, and the fun, competitive spirit of Houston's sports teams. Designed by renowned golf architect Roy Case, Wildcat Golf Club is like no other golf experience in the Southeast Texas area.
Club rental will be available at the pro shop for $50.
Grand Slam Round Robin Tennis Event. Here's a GREAT opportunity to play some fun doubles with other CLM attendees. Each round you will be paired with and against different players, so it's a great social mixer as well. This is one really fun and rare experience that you won't want to miss.Back to top
Start the Annual Conference off right with a pre-Conference spa treatment. Specific spa services and times will be arranged later and paid directly to the Spa after treatment.
Guest option for Spa Day is also available from the Guest Only Event options towards the end of the registration process.
Join us at the home of the World Series Champion Houston Astros for our spectacular Opening Session and Keynote. CLM Professionals of the Year Awards finalists will be recognized and the honorees will announced. You won't want to miss this opening session filled with fun and surprises.Back to top
Immediately following the Opening Session and Keynote, join us on the infield at Minute Maid Park for dinner. Spend some time in the batting cages or bullpen perfecting your skills. Take your photo in the Astros dug out. The ballpark is reserved exclusively for CLM Annual Conference attendees with fun activities all evening.Back to top
Robert Bowers, Westfield Insurance
Linda Lane, One Call Care Management
Dave North, Sedgwick
Deborah Saunders, Comcast NBCUniversal
Dawn Watkins, Los Angeles Unified School District
Every day we encounter someone who was injured on the job, learned of a serious illness, or suffered property damage. As industry leaders, we have an obligation and responsibility to think about the question - “Hello, how can I help you?” It is this question that is at the core of the claims business and our response that drives future success. By harnessing talent, technology, and innovative thinking, organizations are discovering new ways to improve the overall claims experience, streamline administration, and remove complexity from the process. This session will feature an insightful discussion and exchange about big picture claims strategies and pathways into the future.Back to top
Rebecca Appelbaum, Gartner + Bloom PC
Mark Boyle, Boyle Leonard & Anderson, PA
Corinne Duym, Coaction Specialty Management Company
Phyllis Modlin, Markel Service, Incorporated
Scott Rembold, Rembold Hirschman
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma ended a record period with no major hurricanes making landfall in the United States. Undoubtedly, there will be a financial impact to carriers insuring contractors in the devastating path of the hurricanes. With catastrophic wind, rain, and flood damage in Texas and Florida, recovery is expected to take many years at a cost potentially exceeding $400 billion. This will impact both commercial and residential construction defect claims, and the panel will discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the construction claims industry. For existing defect claims, claimants/plaintiffs may allege increased costs of repair due to hurricane damage and additional defects discovered as a result of the hurricane damage. This presents a tangled web of causation issues: was the damage caused by the defects, the hurricane, the flood, or some combination of these factors? With new claims, we can expect to see allegations that the hurricane damage was greater than it would have been if the property had been defect free. The panel will discuss best practices for a coordinated investigation between claims personnel, experts, and counsel to answer critical causation and coverage questions.
-The financial impact and impact on available resources and infrastructure from catastrophic natural disasters like hurricanes is universally far-reaching and long lasting.
-After a hurricane, every claim – whether new or existing – will include a component of hurricane-related damage and the number of claims will increase exponentially.
Bob Bowman, The Wendy's Company
Traci Boyle, Self Employed
Justin Morgan, J.S. Held LLC
Anthony Strasius, Wilson Elser
Even with advanced collision avoidance systems, real-world crashes are inevitable. Collisions will occur while humans share the road with autonomous vehicles, and even in the absence of humans, machines can fail. When a crash occurs, how we assess the situation, gather information, and collect evidence is critically important. How we interpret and communicate this critical information to others is equally important. What data is available from the vehicle and how do we collect it? What physical evidence is available and how do we collect it? Many traditional methods of evidence preservation are too limited or not applicable. The latest and most sophisticated technology and highly skilled and trained experts will be required to capture the critical evidence. This will be accomplished by employing tools such as drone aerial photography and videography, vehicle event data interpretation and analysis, 3D laser scans of sites and vehicles, and scientific animations. These tools must be utilized by highly qualified and experienced teams of engineers, accident reconstructionists, human factors experts, attorneys, and risk managers who can clearly communicate the findings and results to stakeholders.
-Vehicles with automated features are currently available in the United States.
-Automated vehicles can store collision-related data on the vehicle or remotely.
-Some vehicle automation features and safety systems are not currently accessible through existing forensic data collection tools.
Christine Bernstock, AECOM
Lisa Manzer, Skyward Specialty Insurance
Cheryl Vollweiler, Skarzynski Marick & Black LLP
William Wingertzahn, Sompo International Insurance
This is an interactive discussion of claims handling and insurance coverage issue identification using a hypothetical inspired by recent headlines. The focus will be identification of complex claims and coverage issues implicated, not the routine tort issues, and pitfalls arising in claims handling and coverage analysis that may impact the availability of coverage including first versus third party coverage, covered/uncovered damages, late reporting, statutory/regulatory requirements to disclaim, SIRs, additional insureds, indemnification provisions, duties between primary and excess insurers, equitable subrogation, priority of coverage, bad faith, and how choice of law impacts these issues.Back to top
Christopher Carucci, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Patrick Mendes, Tyson & Mendes LLP
Cathy Zwaan, USLI
The effective defense of insurance claims presents myriad ethical pitfalls for both inexperienced claims handlers and attorneys as well as more senior practitioners. Against the backdrop of 3-5 common scenarios, seasoned industry professionals will address prevalent ethical challenges associated with (i) initial required disclosures to any insured client; (ii) potential conflicts associated with litigation guideline compliance; (iii) the role of independent counsel; and (iv) responses to excess policy demands. Participants will leave this session with an appreciation for how prevalent these issues are, the relevant applications of ABA and fair claims handling standards to each, as well as practical advice on how to successfully manage these claims.
-Many ethical pitfalls can be avoided through regular open dialogue between counsel, insured and insurer.
-No matter your experience level, bring your independent judgment to work with you every day.
-Ethical obligations begin and end with the insured client. Therefore, the most important piece of this puzzle must be the insured client, from the outset through the conclusion of the matter.
Jeff Bone, MMIC
John Hicks, Norris Keplinger Hicks & Welder, LLC
Kathleen Lyons, AXIS Reinsurance
R. Douglas Vaughn, Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP
Around the country, states are increasing the scope of privileges and reducing the oversight requirements for physician extenders, such as nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, and certified nurse midwives, and these advance practice nursing professionals are being subjected to a higher standard of care resulting in lawsuits following adverse outcomes. This presentation will focus on the challenges of such lawsuits and effective strategies for the defense of the physician extender.Back to top
Joseph Garin, Lipson Neilson P.C.
Christopher Grosso, Conner Strong & Buckelew
Guy Hollingsworth, Hanover Insurance
Frances O'Meara, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Standards are being rapidly adopted by states and municipalities across the country. These “Green Building” standards under LEED present an entirely new set of risks and liability concerns for architects, engineers, and contractors. LEED standards can change rapidly and may result in an evolving standard of care over the life of a project. Damage models also present new concerns for insureds and their carriers. For example, the failure to properly complete construction of a Green Building may result in damages like the loss of significant property tax credits. Finally, due to the on-going certification requirements under LEED, Green Buildings claims have a long tail and present a long-term risk for insureds and their carriers. This session will present a brief history of LEED certifications to provide context to participants. The discussion will explain risk factors under LEED and focus on the liability issues confronting architects, engineers and developers who go Green. The session will identify and explore risk-management, defenses to claims, risk-transfer ideas and claim resolution strategies. Presenters will also evaluate some case studies and discuss practice tips.
-LEED standards are rapidly evolving into construction projects at all levels and the liability arises under contract and government regulations.
-Potentially responsible parties include A&E, Contractors and Suppliers.
-Carriers should be mindful of cross over between professional liability and general liability claims.
-Risk transfer and risk management techniques are essential because damage models in LEED claims have the potential to be catastrophic.
Rick Farlow, W.R. Berkley Corporation
John E. Hall, Hall Booth Smith, P.C.
Caryn Lilling, Mauro Lilling Naparty
It is highly likely that, at some point in their career, each audience member will have to face a trial with catastrophic damages. How are we preparing to combat the Reptile Strategy and out-of-control life care plans in those cases? This presentation will engage the audience members and have them participate as jurors. The focus will be to demonstrate how jurors think, act, and behave relative to their emotion and anger responses when presented with the Reptile Strategy, life care plans, and defense attorney's attempts to anchor damages early in the trial.Back to top
Will Davis, Starnes Davis Florie LLP
Matt Dye, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Jeannie Kim, Markel Service, Incorporated
Peter Winterburn, Lewis Thomason, PC
The retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, the spike in individuals suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and increased media attention to claims of sexual assault and abuse in long-term care setting means lawsuits involving allegations of assault and abuse are becoming more prevalent. Join seasoned industry experts as we disect a lawsuit, tried to verdict in arbitration, where a resident in an assisted living facility alleged she was sexually assaulted to gain insight into how to manage and mitigate these types of risks. We will discuss who you need to retain as an expert, how working with local authorities and the police can help win your case, the need for open, honest and continual communication between counsel, the claims professional and the insured, and the impact of the media in these highly emotional and publicized matters.
-Delay is the enemy. As soon as a sexual assault allegation becomes known, intervention and action is key. Interviews/investigation with all staff members and residents with knowledge should commence immediately and should be done at the direction of counsel and the Quality Improvement Committee. Proper authorities must be contacted if the allegations are substantiated.
-Be proactive about sexual assault/prevention policies and communicate with caregivers, family, other residents, and employees. Make it clear that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Background checks and training on sexual abuse/assault prevention are required.
-Check with local counsel for state-specific elder abuse statutes. Coordinate with counsel for coverage questions to determine whether or what type of coverage applies to a claim of sexual assault.
William Lindsay, Lindsay, Pickett & Postel, LLC
Taylor Smith, Suite 200 Solutions
Daniel Winkler, Westfield Insurance
Denise Yost, Wolters Kluwer, ELM Solutions
Ninety-seven to 98.5 percent of cases settle. Meanwhile, litigation costs remain exceptionally important for litigation and claim professionals alike. This session will share strategies and generate conversation on how the players in the insurance litigation world can work together to incentivize behavior and achieve an early resolution of a claim. The session will refer to CLM Advisor studies for an overview of the litigation landscape. There will be discussions from the carrier viewpoint on litigation efficiency strategies and expectations; from the matter management standpoint on having a platform that addresses metrics capture and technologies that support early resolution workflows. Discussions will include how law firms can develop incentive programs to shift the focus from bonusing for billable hours to bonusing for early creative resolution and how this aligns the firm with the clients' value of resolving cases at the same value sooner, and how it aligns with public policy and ethical duties of the attorney while supporting a firm's metrics, leading to more business. The panel also will explore why the plaintiff's bar has an incentive and natural alliance with the defense bar to get to ADR sooner and the need to get this word out to overcome opposing counsel bias against early ADR.Back to top
Sometimes the best practice is to avoid known pitfalls. And when it comes to legal discovery for insured claims, panel counsel and suppliers may be in the dark on what really matters to claims professionals. It may only be a small percentage of claims that make it to the discovery stage, but the financial implications for these matters weigh heavily on insurance carriers and the claims professionals responsible for them. Understanding what really matters to claims professionals during this phase of the claim is key to the success of panel counsel, service providers, and, of course, the outcome of the claim. In this interactive presentation, the speakers will reveal and discuss not only what works on the front line, but what doesn’t, in a lively session that will engage the audience in participation.
-The key to legal discovery cost-containment for claims is early assessment of the potential discovery scope and spend.
-Prequalifying counsel and service providers with MSAs and negotiated rates can add efficiencies and cost savings to claims in legal discovery.
-Discovery strategy involves not just the legal arguments for the case, but also the workflows for gathering, preparing, and reviewing data.
Lynn Castagna, Castagna Scott, LLP
Lars Daniel, Envista Forensics
Cassandra Gaines, Esq., Schneider National, Inc.
Tim Roth, Gallagher Sharp, LLP
This group of industry experts will address the issues related to digital forensics in trucking cases, such as distracted driving, lifestyle analysis, and historic location data. Attendees will learn what can be recovered from a cell phone or other mobile device at point of impact, how electronic records are used to assess driver fatigue and distraction, and will leave the session having a better understanding of how mobile device forensics can play a valuable part in any catastrophic trucking claim.
-How mobile forensics and call detail record analysis can be used to determine if distracted driving was a factor in a trucking accident.
-Methods by which driver privacy and collecting the necessary data for analysis can be balanced.
-How motor carriers are responding to the increased prevalence of mobile forensics in trucking accident claims and litigation.
Jay Brown, Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP
Jamie Carsey, Markel Service, Incorporated
Kevin Hromas, US Insurance Information, LLC
Joel Moore, Champions Insurance Services
The massive wave of lawsuits trailing in the wake of a major hurricane is now as expected as the large street-side debris piles that follow in the first days of recovery. Policyholders’ storm-chasing law firms now present with honed efficiency thousands of virtual cookie cutter legal filings following a storm. Through the enactment of new laws, Texas has sought to control the flood of lawsuits flowing into its courthouses following natural disasters. Recent court pronouncements have also altered the valuation calculus of such lawsuits. Texas’ new hail storm statute actually applies to the great majority of first-party property insurance claims arising from “forces of nature” and not just hail storms. Different treatment of individual adjuster liability, different calculations for statutory penalty interest, rights strengthened to abate lawsuits, and special provisions relating to pre-suit notice and pre-suit inspections now govern such claims. What is the Texas approach -- and is it coming to a state near you? Find out here!
-The “New” insurance laws do NOT affect the actual claims handling practices and procedures required by Insurers and Adjusters.
-Litigation notice requirements by Plaintiffs are required to include comprehensive descriptions as to the amount of damages being sought and the amount of attorneys’ fees being claimed as well.
-The appraisal process has proven to be an effective alternative dispute resolution mechanism and forestalls the claims of bad faith, breach of contract and DTPA demands.
Melissa Hoffman-Schartel, Markel Service, Incorporated
Neil Selman, Selman Leichenger Edson Hsu Newman and Moore LLP
Nelson Tavares, W.R. Berkley Corporation
Rhonda Tobin, Robinson & Cole
Plaintiffs have recently adopted a strategy of issuing policy limit demands as soon as possible and as often as possible. There’s a clear need to proceed with caution when facing a policy limit demand, but claims professionals and their counsel have to ensure that claim inflation doesn’t occur solely as a consequence of the policy limit demand having been made. Plaintiffs hope policy limit demands will increase value. Speakers will discuss how that often happens and how to guard against it. They also will address the consequences of not meeting the demand and strategies to fully protect the insurer and defense counsel when faced with a policy limit demand including how to forcefully get extensions of time, how to communicate to the insured about the demand in terms of what to say and when to say it, how to be able to properly evaluate the claim and how best to do it, tools for getting the case resolved for less than the limit, how to limit defense counsel’s role, and how best to create a record that can guard the insurer against excess exposures.Back to top
Brian Bornstein, AIG
Timothy D. Crawley, Anderson Crawley & Burke, PLLC
Glenn Price, MIRMA
Andy Thornton, ESIS
Employers who find themselves with an older, more experienced work force now face increasing problems of managing special risks for older employees, including rising healthcare costs, increased insurance and workers compensation claims and premiums, and employee missed time. This session will address the increased frequency and severity of claims from an aging workforce under workers compensation, healthcare, EPL, and age and disability issues. The speakers also will ponder the related increase in negligence claims asserted by third parties because of acts that would have been less likely to have occurred with a younger, healthier employee. The group will explore options on how to manage a company’s already strapped resources to do additional training and make necessary accommodations by using real-life examples of situations where age-related limitations resulted in unreasonable cumulative burdens on employers, but which otherwise may subject employers to ADA or ADEA claims. The audience will be able to present their challenges for possible resolution.Back to top
Pam Colpoys, Ashford, Inc.
Renee Crow, EPIC
Fredoon Mistry, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
David Samuels, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
In the claims handling process, insurers can often overlook the differing perspectives of the insured and the insured’s insurance broker. Insurers tend to believe they should be left to handle matters once insurance has been purchased, but this perspective can negatively impact insureds and their day-to-day operations. The presentation will focus on the claims-related issues that keep the client awake at night, such as impact to an insured's reputation once a matter becomes public, eDiscovery that can be a monumental drain on an insured in both time and expense, and distractions created by depositions that can cause a loss of productivity. The goal of the presentation is to increase the awareness and sensitivity of the claims professional to the claims-related issues that have a direct impact on the insured’s operations, employees, and insurance profile.Back to top
Jennifer Assa-Kass, Nationwide Insurance Company
Debbie Champion, Rynearson Suess Schnurbusch & Champion
Ron Goldstein, Aon
Paula Letterman, American National Property & Casualty Company
If approximately 95 percent of all lawsuits and claims settle prior to trial, how is it that everyone knows someone who is involved in what appears to be a never-ending lawsuit as a litigant, attorney, or claims professional? The focus of this session will be on the remaining five percent of those resolution resistant lawsuits and what makes them different. The presenters will explore framing settlement resistant conflicts as an addiction as well as a means to influence settlement through ADR. Speakers will discuss conflict addiction by touching on the classic principles and theories of addiction/addictive-thinking, ripeness/readiness, and mediation for its application in litigation management across all lines of professional insurance. Presenters will discuss real life examples of cases in which parties refuse to move towards settlement despite viable alternatives to continuing on with litigation.
-The application of classic conflict resolution principles of ripeness and readiness theory in the resolution of “unresolvable” insurance claims.
-The distinction between settlements and resolutions and its effects on future claims
-The importance of third party neutrals and the mediation process in resolution of highly litigated claims.
Starr Kincaid, Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority
Craig Livingston, Tokio Marine HCC
Wayne Melnick, Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP
Jaynie Spies, Network Adjusters, Inc.
Steven Stern, Sokoloff Stern LLP
The First Amendment’s free speech and petition clauses are replete with pitfalls for the unwitting public official. This discussion will explore the types of free speech claims, both in terms of the regulation of speech and retaliation, in the contexts of public forums, public employment, and schools. Speakers will discuss the types of speech subject to regulation, the standards for such regulation, and the boundaries of free speech itself. In particular, the discussion will provide an explanation of the state of the law following certain landmark cases including the strict limitations imposed on municipal sign ordinances since Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, the limitations imposed on First Amendment retaliation claims brought by public employees since Garcetti v. Ceballos and how to present a Garcetti defense, and the restrictions on student speech since the so-called “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case, Morse v. Frederick.Back to top
Claudia Costa, Gordon & Rees LLP
Elizabeth Fuller, Great American Insurance Group
Stephen Olson, Engles, Ketcham, Olson & Keith, P.C.
Sexual tort claims, including harassment, abuse, molestation, and hazing, are serious cases with high exposures. These matters must be handled with great care and skill from the moment the claim is reported through resolution. In this session, claims professionals will learn how to properly evaluate sexual tort claims for schools and religious entities, how to identify the critical factors to consider in determining whether to settle or take a case to verdict, ways to handle sympathy and emotion in sexual tort cases, practical tips for loss prevention, and best practices for achieving superior results for the insured.
-How to properly evaluate sexual misconduct claims for educational and religious institutions;
-How to identify the critical factors to consider in determining whether to settle or take a case to verdict;
-Practice pointers on loss prevention and best practices for reducing insured’s exposure for sexual misconduct claims.
Brian Boardingham, AXA XL
Sean Dee, Exponent
Joseph Kearney, HDI Global Insurance
Amy O'Rorke, Sedgwick
Dean Rauchwerger, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP
Catastrophic industrial accidents, large and small, often involve extensive property damage, significant business interruption, and bodily injuries. Strong leadership and solid investigation maximize recovery opportunities. This program discusses best practices for effectively investigating large loss industrial accidents and developing viable recovery theories for causation and contributory causes for failed protective systems. Speakers will highlight the “Swiss Cheese” model of accident causation in risk management to identify the safety failures that afford recovery opportunities. Practical advice will be offered on mitigating evidence spoliation, selecting the right experts, managing the loss scene with interested parties, managing the scope of work, and scheduling and budgeting for the complex large loss investigation including the dynamics of market losses with multiple insurers. Legal and factual strategies and challenges for turning a large loss into a viable recovery opportunity will be discussed. Crisis management will be highlighted, including interfacing with media, government agencies, and interested stakeholders.Back to top
Anas Al-Hamwi, Walgreen Co.
Susan DeCaro, Signature Adjustment Group LLC
Todd DeStefano, ESIS
Michele Punturi, Marshall Dennehey
Threats, verbal abuse, physical assaults, harassment, intimidation -- incidences of workplace violence are on the rise. All employers have the duty to provide a safe working environment for employees, yet for most companies, workplace violence prevention and training is a low rung on the ladder. This session will discuss the rise in workplace violence and related claims, and provide participants with a practical roadmap for developing an effective workplace violence prevention program. Questions to be addressed include: has your company assembled a team to develop, review and implement policies to deal with violence? What is the company plan for maintaining security? What is the strategy for driving team member care value and maintaining a safe and secure environment? Has your company adequately considered the applicability of workers compensation in workplace violence claims? This session will provide valuable insight about maintaining a safe work environment, preventing workplace violence claims and mitigating liability.
-It is critical to develop strategies to minimize the impact and effect of workplace violence. These can include instituting a zero-tolerance policy, providing guidance and training for supervisors and employees, effectively securing the work environment, and implementing a workplace violence prevention program.
-Employers are subject to claims for negligence from third parties. They can mitigate this risk by instituting preventative measures to curb behaviors and maintain a safer workplace environment.
-By identifying potential sources of workplace violence, both external and internal, employers can take the necessary steps to help control these risks and associated exposure.
Teresa Beck, Klinedinst PC
Kendra Schropp, Freeman Company
Valerie Theng Matherne, Courington, Kiefer, Sommers, Marullo & Matherne, L.L.C.
Mary Ann Vorndran, AXIS Specialty US Services, Inc.
Leaders in the retail, restaurant and hospitality industry will conduct an interactive workshop on recent verdicts in premises liability cases brought against these types of establishments. Speakers will provide details about liability and damages and ask audience participants to provide input about verdict ranges prior to revealing the outcome of the actual cases from which the examples were drawn. The group will discuss techniques worked to reduce the verdicts as well as those that did not.
-Verdict potential must factor in all special damages, any permanent damages, and the nature of the underlying mechanism of injury.
-Verdict assessment must factor in geographical locations. Verdicts vary widely based on geography.
-Verdict assessment can also be affected by the nature of the defendant’s business. Larger corporations garner less sympathy.
-Defense verdicts are also possible outcomes, though they are rare.
-Winning at trial must factor in the cost of defense.
Carly Falgout, Bear Mediation
Elizabeth Ganiere, McDermott
Marie Nolan, McLarens
Renee Ramirez, American Airlines
Join this interactive discussion about what product liability cases were hot in 2017 and which ones we should watch in 2018! We'll have the latest legal trends, the appellate bloopers, the verdict highlights, and what you need to know right now about all things product liability. From expert discovery rulings to blockbuster verdicts, you won't want to miss these industry insights!Back to top
Linda Bondi Morrison, Tressler, LLP
Michael Browdy, NYU Hospitals Center
Robert Palmer, Robert C. Palmer III LLC
Lisa Unger , Self Employed
Application of SIRs and deductibles has become a high-stakes business with the insured's and insurer's rights and obligations becoming more blurred in light of varying endorsements and developing law. The stakes become even higher when an insurer's conduct or coverage position gives rise to claims of bad faith. In addition to discussing challenging issues involving SIRs and deductibles that may give rise to bad faith situations, this round table will discuss situations and gray areas which can be most troubling for the parties involved including an insurer's duty to settle, whether an insurer can bring a bad faith claim against an insured for failure to settle within an SIR, whether an insurer may be liable for bad faith for seeking to recoup an unpaid SIR or deductible, and whether an excess insurer can pursue a primary insurer for failing to settle when the insured refuses to pay its SIR.Back to top
Dove Burns, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell and Hippel LLP
Claudia Costa, Gordon & Rees LLP
Laura Lapidus, CNA Insurance
Claudia Oliveri , Starr Adjustment Services, Inc.
Jennifer Weinstein, Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions
The current administration has issued new guidelines for Title IX for the handling of sexual assault claims and also who is protected under Title IX. They also have signed an Executive Order regarding transgender students requiring educational institutions to review their policies and procedures. Given that Title IX and Title VII have the same language as to who is protected, decisions with respect to one will have an impact on how the other is applied. This session will discuss the new regulations and guidelines from the new administration, the evolving case law in this area, the conflicts with other sexual assault and discrimination laws, and the impact on claims and their resolution. The session also will discuss what underwriters should watch for in light of the recent changes.Back to top
Samuel Crisalli, Dryden Mutual Insurance Company
Mark DiGiovanni, Global Indemnity
Anthony Rupp III, Rupp Pfalzgraf
Alan Young, Fort Orange Claims Service
This session will focus on the appraisal clause found in most property insurance policies. Speakers will assess the dos and dont's of the appraisal process with a specific focus on how insurers can prevent the process from being manipulated by insureds and public adjusters. The discussion will also address how the appraisal process, if done correctly, can be a useful tool to expeditiously resolve valuation disputes in first-party insurance cases. Attendees will gain invaluable insight into how the appraisal process should be conducted, strategies for keeping the appraisers and umpires focused on the issues to be appraised, defenses to appraisal demands that are made, but should not be invoked and actions insurers can take to keep the appraisal process fair and impartial.
-The appraisal process is ripe for abuse and distortion by insureds and public adjusters. Insurers can and should protect themselves from abuse of the appraisal process.
-Insurers indeed have defenses to demands for appraisal and should use them, if available, to avoid situations where participation in an appraisal significantly could increase indemnity paid to an insured for a loss.
-A successful appraisal is one where the procedures are defined from the get-go, outside influences are minimized, and the appraisers and umpires are allowed to do their jobs without interference.
Andrea D'Ambra, Norton Rose Fulbright L.L.P.
Douglas MacKelcan, Copeland, Stair, Valz & Lovell, LLP
Rachel Rodriguez, Fortegra
Amelia Schock, Chubb
Unique challenges arise when Religious and Non-Profit organizations send their employees or students overseas for missionary work and/or to further their organization’s goals. Special circumstances arise when a student is sent abroad for study or charity work. How do you protect the this privacy in a country that is not friendly to Americans? What happens if the student or employee is involved in an accident that injures a local party? What happens if the American is seen as a target for ransom? What happens if the American is injured overseas and files suit at home? This panel will address these questions and more.
-Conflicts of law arise when the nationality of the claimant differs from the location of the injury. What options does a plaintiff have when choosing a venue to file litigation?
-Signed waivers may not protect schools and universities fully, and may even be thrown out by the court in certain cases.
-Different coverages apply when it comes to students, volunteers, and employees. One coverage does not fit all.
Edward Canavan, Self Employed
Patti Colwell, Southwest Airlines Co.
Michael Sullivan, Michael Sullivan & Associates
Dawn Watkins, Los Angeles Unified School District
When analyzing workers compensation cost trends, it becomes apparent that a few complex claims drive the majority of the costs. Further analysis reveals that these complex claims generally share a few common characteristics. In many cases, physical co-morbidities or mental health challenges may negatively impact an injured worker's healing and recovery. In other instances, the injured worker may be prescribed or already taking powerful and potentially addictive painkillers such as opioids. Too often, these are readily prescribed for an extended period. When left unmanaged, such prescription usage can not only extend claim durations but essentially rob an individual of everyday living activities when addiction occurs. High litigation rates also are characteristic of complex claims. Lack of information, financial uncertainty, and elevated levels of anxiety can cause injured workers to seek answers and solutions from attorneys despite the no fault environment. This session will explore each of these challenges to derive practical solutions and illustrate how the employer, attorney, and claims administrator can work together to resolve these complexities. Among the innovative approaches that will be discussed is today’s emphasis on whole health solutions when treating injured workers, sophisticated pharmacy management programs aimed at mitigating prescription misuse, and advancements in advocacy programs.Back to top
Jim Foster, Cassiday Schade LLP
Lea Kapral, Acuity Insurance
Joseph Pappalardo, Gallagher Sharp, LLP
Tamara Warn, Superior Risk Management
This session will discuss the increased frequency of claims related to distracted driving, sleep apnea, and fatigue in commercial vehicles and provide tips on how to immediately investigate and defend these cases. These claims are ripe for plaintiffs to use the Reptile Theory to argue that the defendant violated federal safety rules and needlessly endangered the public in order to significantly drive up the settlement value and verdict value of cases. This session will give concrete and detailed defense strategies to defeat plaintiffs' claims from the differing perspectives of seasoned transportation professionals from an insurance carrier, trucking company as well as two defense attorneys who concentrate their practice in transportation claims and lawsuits. The panelists also will discuss techniques and discovery to determine if the plaintiff was distracted and to prove that the plaintiff was at fault for the accident.
-The defense should immediately investigate whether the commercial motor vehicle driver was in compliance with Federal regulations on distracted driving and assess whether a distracted claim should be affirmatively used against the Plaintiff.
-Plaintiffs will argue that in the absence of other explanation: (e.g. weather, reaction to sudden lane change, defensive maneuver) the only reasonable explanation is fatigue.
-Plaintiffs will argue that new advancements in Sleep Apnea science, such as the FMCSA Medical Review Board research and proposed regulations, are now the standard of care for Motor Carriers. Companies without policies, procedures and remediation plans will be viewed as endangering the community and subject to other Reptile attacks.
Joan E. Cochran, Cochran Davis & Associates, P.C.
Patrica Davis, North American Risk Services NARS
Steven DiSiervi, Abrams, Gorelick, Friedman & Jacobson, LLP
Rachel Ehrlich, Judicate-West
Denise Shane, Zurich North America
The session will evaluate the ethical considerations of the insurer when the coverage position taken toward the insured may affect the defense obligations to the insured. Speakers will compare and contrast the type of coverage factors that will trigger a right to independent counsel in various jurisdictions. The ethical communication requirements of the insurer, panel counsel, and the third-party administrator will be reviewed on a state-by-state basis. The group will discuss what courts have considered to be an actual conflict as opposed to a hypothetical conflict. Speakers will evaluate the ethical duties owed by the insurer to the insured including proper claims handling guidelines, dividing the file, communicating with the insured, and working with independent counsel. The group will explore the ethical considerations of the tri-partite relationship and review actual cases of how coverage positions of the insurer have adversely affected the defense of the insured. Consequences of unethical conduct by the insurer, the third-party administrator, and panel counsel will also be evaluated as well as the bad faith implications that can result from positions taken by the insurer.
-When reserving the carrier’s rights might give rise to a policyholder’s right to independent counsel in those jurisdictions that provide for such.
-Awareness of what may be considered a conflict, ramifications of bad faith and estoppel if independent counsel is not provided and alternatives to independent counsel
-Potential pitfalls in negotiating settlement when there is a conflict between carrier and policyholder particularly in mediation.
Janet R. Davis, Cozen O’Connor
Arthur Del Principe, Starr Adjustment Services, Inc.
Ron Goldstein, Aon
Michelle Klein, Berkley Professional Liability
Dire predictions about how the new administration would influence the business world, including issues important to insurers and their clients, ran wildly rampant in the months following the 2016 election. Over a year after the inauguration, how many of these predictions have come true? The financial markets have not crashed under the weight of uncertainty but has the approach of the SEC and DOJ changed with respect to investigations and enforcement actions? Have there been any resulting changes in securities litigation? Has there been any impact specifically on the D&O world and the insurance industry in general? Have new approaches in other agencies such as the FDA brought new challenges? Join this experienced industry panel to explore whether post-election predictions were accurate or equally flawed as those that predicted the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.Back to top
Stephen Buonpane, Chubb
Joe Duncan, Clark, May, Price, Lawley, Duncan & Paul LLC
Russ Patane, Golden, Rothschild, Spagnola, Lundell, Boylan, Garubo & Bell, P.C.
Lee Wright, Tokio Marine HCC
It is estimated that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused over $200B in damages to the coastal regions of Texas, Florida, and the surrounding states. This staggering amount will extend across all lines of insurance, with the effects and claims to be felt for years to come. Per census data and NOAA, more than 50% of the population presently lives in coastal and watershed counties. This area is a primary location of population increases by 2020. Accordingly, much of the nation’s new commercial, residential, and industrial construction is taking place in coastal areas that are susceptible to hurricanes and other natural disasters. Given the magnitude of these natural disasters and their resulting damage, insurers must carefully consider how these construction claims are handled. This panel will examine coverages and claims handling practices for these catastrophic events, strategies for responding to potential widespread catastrophic losses, the appropriate coverage to respond, and risk transfer opportunities.
-With growing coastal populations and more extreme weather events, carriers must be diligent in properly underwriting construction projects in coastal areas to reflect the potential for increased risk due to larger storms. This includes addressing properly reserving premium to respond to catastrophic natural events as well as determining whether insureds have preparation plans in place to respond to approaching storms.
-In regard to ongoing projects, insureds, brokers and carriers must work to make sure they have appropriate coverages in place to address the risks presented in a region. Builders’ Risk policies may not provide coverage to all classes of potential losses so additional coverages may be needed.
-As to completed projects, claims may still arise from damage that initially occurred, or began, during a hurricane. It is important that all involved recognize that there may be coverage issues or limitations relating to damage that occurred, but was not corrected, during construction. Additionally, risk transfer options must be remembered when responding to such claims.
Corinne Cerrati, Chubb
Jeff Cook, Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
Donna Hunt, Ironshore Insurance Company
Shaun Jackson, Panda Restaurant Group
Lisa Peterson, Collins + Collins LLP
Founded with the best of intentions to secure accessibility for all, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of the greatest civil rights initiatives in recent history. Its unique enforcement through private causes of action has led to creative, innovative means of access. It has also led to some litigation abuse. As the ADA moves to its next 25 years, we take a look back on how it has evolved, how it is implemented today and how accessibility moves from physical to virtual access in our digital age. With seasoned views from a distinguished panel with professional experience in architecture, claims, insurance, construction, corporate ownership and law, our group will take you from the 90s through today to tomorrow discussing how the ADA ensures greater accessibility and fuller inclusion for an aging population.Back to top
Michael Aberle, MindMeld Studios
Joseph Busher, Jackson O'Keefe, LLP
Johan Obregon, Kerley Walsh Matera & Cinquemani PC
Laura Zehner, Zehner Trial Consulting
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form. Seven states and the District of Columbia have adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Most recently, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada have all passed measures legalizing recreational marijuana. Further, several legislatures in states recently passing legalization measures are debating regulatory proposals around the use and sale of marijuana. Nevertheless, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act. This session will explore the various types of marijuana-based insurance policies, the need for certain types of insurance coverage, the risks associated with marijuana based policies, and the benefits to insurers. Speakers will explore the liability issues inherent to cannabis businesses when customers cause injury or harm to others while using marijuana, as well as the considerations of corporate counsel, risk managers, and how a jury views liability and defenses when confronted with these issues.Back to top
J. Thaddeus Eckenrode, Eckenrode-Maupin
Constance Endelicato, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP
Gina Harris, ProAssurance Corporation
David Prisco, CARE RRG, Inc.
Medical negligence claims often have significant value, as the damages tend to be catastrophic. Even as legislation has been enacted around the country to place limits on malpractice awards or otherwise restrict how such claims may be pursued, the plaintiffs' bar has become increasingly creative, attempting to re-classify malpractice claims as other types of torts, such as general negligence claims, merchandising practices act violations or battery, or as non-tort claims such as civil rights violations, breach of contract, warranty violations or fraud claims. Likewise, creativity in avoiding damages caps has seen the development of strategies to attempt to inflate economic damages and has created a cottage industry for life-care planners who try to broaden or expand purported long-term care needs, as well as for economists to attempt to place a dollar value on damages once thought of as non-economic in nature. This session will explore the various tricks used to dodge the limitations and laws put in place to protect against runaway malpractice awards. Presenters will examine the different strategies with which plaintiffs have had some success around the country, and they will discuss methods and arguments that can be raised by the defense bar and insurance industry to counter these actions.
-Medical negligence claims are often disguised as other types of claims to avoid limitations imposed by tort reform legislation. The defense team should attack any type of claim asserted that is not brought within the confines of a particular state’s medical negligence laws (where applicable).
-Claims professionals and defense counsel should vigorously seek to discover any purported damage claims as early as possible, under any scenario allowed under the pleadings, to assess case value, set reserves, evaluate for settlement purposes and to box plaintiff in at trial.
-Keeping claimants and plaintiffs limited to well-defined and tort reform limited causes of actions and damage claims will help prevent inflated damages, possible runaway verdicts, and potential punitive damage awards, and may even limit the number of suits filed.
J. Stephen Berry, Builders Insurance Group
Steven LaForge, Nationwide Insurance Company
Richard Porotsky, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Scott Walker, Mendota Insurance
This session will include a presentation of case studies and hypotheticals centered around avoiding estoppel of coverage positions in the aftermath of Cosgrove v. National Fire & Marine Insurance Co. and similar cases. Also discussed will be how to get independent/Cumis counsel to report necessary details to insurers without waiving privilege and updates on the Advice-of-Counsel defense in bad faith claims. Speakers also will cover the latest developments on privilege issues involving in-house counsel and the use of outside counsel for claims analysis. Participants will leave with a better understanding of best practices for exchanging critical information in the insurance context while respecting attorney client privilege in today’s environment.Back to top
Elissa Doroff, Mosaic Insurance
Cathleen Kelly Rebar, Rebar Kelly
Catherine Lyle, Coalition
Matthew Ross, CNA Insurance
This session will educate insurance carriers and counsel on tools and strategies to reduce and recover costs associated with data breach claims. From underwriting the risk to transferring the risk, speakers will detail the various ways in which risk can be mitigated. The session will also include the right of an excess insurance carrier to audit the primary insurance carrier's approved expenses to reach the insurance limits, as well as recovering of costs from third-party vendors. Attendees will learn how to reduce data breach costs to the insured and its insurance carrier.Back to top
Jennifer Bergstrom, Hiscox
Meredith Cavallaro, Paduano & Weintraub
Jose Lopez, CNA Insurance
Ellen Storch, Littler Mendelson, P.C.
This session will explore the pendulum swing with respect to website access. Despite the administrative and legislative pullback, judicial activism has shifted in the other direction making the website accessibility landscape increasingly complex. The group also will cover recent trends within disability discrimination cases under the ADA including the application of the ADA to independent contractors.Back to top
Sun Choy, Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP
Seth Friedman, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
Sarah Schmitz, Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions
Many states have statutes that hold governmental entities have sovereign immunity for any claims or above certain statutorily required amounts unless there is insurance coverage for the loss. Policies issued to governmental entities often state that the purchase of the policy is not a waiver of that entities’ sovereign immunity. Speakers will discuss what happens when plaintiffs challenge whether such language in the policy preserves the sovereign immunity, how courts have handled those challenges, and practical tips for how to handle such situations.Back to top
Kelly Geary, EPIC
Dianna McCarthy, Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan LLP
Sean Scranton, Willis Towers Watson
Brian St. Jacques, AIG
We will discuss the impact technology is having on the following policies: Employment Practice Liability; Miscellaneous Professional Liability; Errors & Omissions; Directors & Officers and Cyber. Insurance policies historically have had very clear lines for what loss will be covered under the policy. However, given the rapid changes in technology, these lines are getting blurred. Technology is in nearly every aspect of our lives today, from diagnostic and monitoring products linked to the internet at hospitals to robots in the workplace and cyber breach mitigation regulations and rules. Join us as we explore the impact on insurance products and claims from multiple perspectives.Back to top
Daniel Mitchell, AIG
Shane O'Neill, Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial, LLC
Cindy Poortinga, Hiscox
Jose (JJ) Trevino, Valdez & Trevino
In recent years, we have seen an increase in claims of traumatic brain injury, often as a way for a plaintiff to inflate his or her damages in an otherwise low-value case. This group of industry experts will explore this growing trend in civil litigation and the unique challenges it presents. Discussion will focus on plaintiff's strategies in TBI cases, including overcoming the invisible injury concept and juror bias and the "surprise" TBI claim, recent verdicts in TBI cases, defense strategies in TBI cases and how to build a defense team, and hot topics and ethical considerations when managing TBI claims.
-It is important to have a good understanding of the current trends in TBI cases, as there has been a significant increase in TBI claims in recent years. Learning about strategies from both the defense and plaintiff’s perspective will help adjusters better evaluate and defend TBI claims.
-Early evaluation of TBI cases is critical. This includes organizing your defense team and retaining the right experts early in the case. It also includes identifying red flags early in the case. If there is documented or claimed loss of consciousness or memory loss, or if the plaintiff hires counsel skilled in TBI cases, this should set off alarm bells that a TBI claim may be presented.
-Preparado not desperado! These cases are fact and document intensive, so attention to detail and preparation is crucial. Always prepare and defend the case as if it is going to trial, so that if and when that day comes, you have the right testimony, experts and evidence.
Robert Abramson, Kopka Pinkus Dolin
Lawrence Beemer, Tokio Marine HCC
Robin Buchanan, HUB Enterprises, Inc.
Stephen Johnson, Self Employed
Unfortunately, fraud in the application for insurance is a growing trend. It is occurring across the board, along multiple lines of insurance. A homeowner intentionally underestimates the value of their property, a consumer provides an improper home address to obtain a cheaper premium on auto insurance, a business owner might underreport payroll or misclassify the business in order to reduce workers compensation premiums. In this ground-breaking presentation, we will provide you with an amazing case study of how fraud was unveiled over three and a half years after the policy was underwritten and creative ways to spot fraud sooner rather than later. The discussion will center around the role and fiduciary duty of the insurance broker, critical information provided in the underwriting file, SIU investigation techniques for spotting fraud, premium differences, under what circumstances insurance companies agree to take on the risk, insurance policy provisions regarding fraud in the application, and the ultimate decision as to whether or not void the policy from inception. Attendees will walk away from this presentation with new perspective on how critical the little details actually are and how using common sense can break a case wide open.
-You will learn how to spot the key red flags in the application for insurance.
-The critical documents are those procured by the insurance agent at the time of the application, as well as the underwriting file.
-A fact misstated or omitted is generally deemed material if it would affect a company’s decision to enter into a contract, or its calculation of the premium to be charged.
Melissa Crowley, Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.
Daniel Loo, Telgian Engineering & Consulting
Casimir Maliszewski CLMP, CCP, LEO Mediations, LLC
This session will address ways to defend against negligent security cases when the crime appears foreseeable. Participants will discuss plaintiff's status as invitee or trespasser, the relationship of the victim to the assailant and dealing with targeted crimes, industry standards and explaining ways a business owner can prevent non-targeted crimes, security measures in place prior to the incident to circumvent foreseeability, and how to distinguish prior crimes to establish the crime was not foreseeable from an evidentiary standpoint.
-Know your duty – understand the distinctions between an invitee, licensee, and trespasser.
-Know your property – including factors such as design, warnings, staff, policies and procedures, and document retention.
-Know your community – evaluate crime grids available via the local police department, including what your judge will admit at trial.
Susan M. Clemson, Berkley Luxury Group
Daniel Cray, Cray Huber Horstman Heil & VanAusdal LLC
Richard Gibbs, AXA XL
William Schrimpf, Self Employed
Nearly all lawsuits that survive initial motion practice go on to some form of mediation. Good results at mediation should never be left to chance. Too often preparation for mediation is an afterthought – weak and ineffective. This interactive presentation will help participants learn and discuss the structure and skills necessary for successful mediation. The panelists have participated in hundreds of mediations and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Speakers will engage the audience with specific examples of the issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve better success at mediation.Back to top
Glenn Barger, ADR Services - Barger
Seth Davis , Marsh
Mark Gothold, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
Simon Keshishian, Red Bull
Karen Rice, AXA XL
This panel will provide a detailed perspective of working with Risk Managers from major international companies that face a variety of claims and lawsuits. Panelists will discuss choice of counsel issues, managing deductibles and self-insured retentions, reporting requirements, dealing with coverage issues, who controls the defense, including discovery, settlement and trial strategies, and billing issues.
-A practical approach to working with Risk Managers, including recognizing who is responsible for the overall result.
-Controlling the defense, including avoiding conflicts, maintaining privileges, addressing coverage issues and overall strategy.
-Working within the tripartite relationship from choice of counsel, strategic decisions and ultimate result.
Thomas Dawson, TD&P Consulting
Raymond Giorgetti, Atlas Settlement Group
Richard Henderson, TransRe
Caryn Lilling, Mauro Lilling Naparty
The traditional view has been that a defense on damages is a concession of liability and will create a damages floor. This roundtable discussion will challenge those traditional notions through case studies and innovative approaches that attempt to break down those myths. Speakers will discuss a comprehensive defense of damages from pain and suffering to lost earnings to medical expenses. Speakers will outline how to continue to use Obamacare to reduce damages in a personal injury case in the Trump era.Back to top
Ben Accardo, Beazley
Robert Hellner, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP
Michele Landis, Accessible360
Retailers and business owners nationwide are facing a wave of new liability under the ADA for internet access issues. Jurisdictions are split on whether liability exists, and if so, what standards should apply. Speakers will discuss the various expansions in liability, defense arguments and trends and strategies for assessing liability and exposure to, and the resolution of, ADA and internet accessability matters.Back to top
Dennis Franchetti, NLC Insurance Companies
John Hackett, Cassiday Schade LLP
Andrew Smith, Rolfes Henry Co., LPA
Mike Smith, Axis Insurance Services, LLC
Tracy Smith, Acuity Insurance
This session will address the most recent advances in technology and how these gadgets and gizmos can assist us in the world of insurance defense litigation and claims handling. Discussion will center around wearable devices such as Fitbit and Nike Fuelband, smart thermostats and smart home systems like Nest, and digital assistants such as Alexa Echo and Dot or Google Home. What information do these devices store? How do we get it when confronted with a claim or lawsuit? Is it admissible in court? How can we harness this information to our advantage? Alexa is already solving murders across the country. What else can she do for you?Back to top
Michael Aberle, MindMeld Studios
Joy Erven, The Surplus Line Association of California
Lindsay Robinson, California Cannabis Industry Association
Dean Rocco, Wilson Elser
Kevin Tarango, Heffernan Insurance Company
The cannabis industry should exceed $22 billion by 2020. Cannabis industry employees already outnumber dental hygienists and those in many other professions. New state regulations, evolving third-party standards, novel testing methods, state-of-the-art computer software, and other technology has transformed the cannabis industry into what has become a major manufacturing and retail market. The session is designed to help risk professionals navigate this complex industry. The group will explore the insurance needs of this maturing industry and the lines of coverage being offered to meet them, including general and property, products, on-site consumption, stock throughput, automobile/delivery, workers compensation, and crop insurance products. The discussion also will highlight marijuana's increasing impact on traditional insurance products, such as discrimination claims stemming from employees’ use of medical cannabis. For carriers, questions have been raised regarding how to safely accept premium dollars from businesses that are illegal at a federal level. Insight will be shared on how the insurance industry has mitigated its risk in this new space.Back to top
Laura Cornish, Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.
Carolyn Eldracher, Tokio Marine America
Andrew L. Klauber, Malapero Prisco & Klauber LLP
William Liebler, Marsh
Jennifer Wojciechowski, Community Association Underwriters of America, Inc.
Seems simple doesn’t it? There is a loss and the defense and indemnification is tendered. So why is the claims professional too chicken to accept the tender? Why do tenders get ignored or denied? Why, as an additional insured, or as contractual indemnitee, is one stuck with increased litigation costs and then the refusal to repay defense costs, forcing a DJ and necessitating the hiring of coverage counsel? This round table will review the need to thoughtfully respond to tenders pre- and post-litigation through the eyes of the insured, the adjuster, the broker, and counsel in an effort to lift the veil of secrecy and confusion and to move that chicken across the road!
-Recognize the involved contracts and policies, and secure copies of them all.
-Tender and property diary for a response to your tender. Follow up!
-If you receive a tender, ignoring it doesn’t deal with it.
-Understand how the insured contract provisions work – do not fake it, you won’t make it.
-The elements of a successful tender recognizing when you are entitled to be defended and indemnified and the potential pitfalls i.e. illusion coverage employee exclusion.
-The importance of the interaction of the broker, insured, insurance adjuster and counsel in achieving a successful risk transfer/tender.
Kitty Lynch, UFG Insurance
Erin Ringbloom, Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd.
Stefani Schwartz, Self Employed
Patrick White, Kershaw White
Title VII, ADA, ADEA, PDA, OSHA, FLSA, FMLA, NLRA, WARN ACT... it is all about the application of, and compliance with, state and federal employment laws. Implementing all of the various separate and interconnected rules and regulations is a daunting task for any person. Join us as we discuss the latest trends, cases, and issues that will effect all organizations and how to managing the inherent risks involved.
-Annually review policies/handbooks to ensure compliance.
-Document, document, document.
-Before making an employment decision, consider all aspects and confer with legal counsel to avoid exposure and frivolous litigation.
Nichol Bunn, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
Michael DePetrillo, Ochsner Health System
Daniele Freaner, Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions
Stanley Proctor, Western Litigation
Despite liability concerns during emergencies, there are no comprehensive national liability protections for healthcare providers or entities. Instead, there is a patchwork of protections that may or may not apply to protect professionals and institutions. This session will identify liability risks that arise in emergency situations, discuss ways to minimize the risks, and provide possible defenses.
-An appreciation of the real world risk and effects of outbreaks and natural disasters
Diana Dearmin, Liberty Mutual
Meghan Henry, Morgan & Akins, PLLC
Jackie Jensen Erler, Mix Sanders Thompson, PLLC
As increasing numbers of women obtain law degrees and enter the work force, it is discouraging that even though women make up the majority of U.S. law students, many women still remain sidelined for management and/or partnership opportunities. Similarly, the insurance industry continues to lack female leadership. However, several companies and law firms are honing in on ways to address this and push for female advancement. This team of women representing a cross-section of the industry will explore whether women can really have it all. Can you still foster personal relationships, raise a family and achieve partnership and/or management status? Are you required to sacrifice work for relationships and visa-versa? Is management obtainable only to those who prioritize their careers above all else? How can men and women in industry leadership roles support women in the workplace, recruit and retain exceptional talent, and shift perspectives and practices to best utilize and support female employees rising through the ranks? We will explore these questions and more.Back to top
Cliff Connor, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Heather Sanderson, Sanderson Firm PLLC
Brad Spicer, Cincinnati Insurance Company
For the first time in history, Medicare intends to implement a review process as early as July 1, 2018, for Liability Medicare Set-Asides (LMSAs) and No-Fault Medicare Set-Asides (NFMSAs). Further, Medicare has taken steps in 2017 with medical providers to verify LMSA information, prior to billing Medicare. How this Medicare review process will work is completely unknown. Additionally, there are many questions about the inclusion of an allocation for future medical care in settlements with Medicare beneficiaries. This team of experts will equip attendees with Best Practices for protecting Medicare’s interests with regard to future medical in liability and no-fault cases. In addition to discussing LMSAs, the presenters will dive into recent aggressive Medicare Advantage Plan litigation aimed against attorneys and insurance carriers alike. It is critically important that all settling parties be able to protect against such actions. Information learned in this session is indispensable in preparing attendees for the realities of Medicare compliance in 2018.Back to top
Brian Conley, The Center For Forensic Economic Studies
Frank Kelly, Self Employed
David Koudelik, Chubb
Mary Soisson, AIC, Sedgwick
With non-economic damages caps and tort reform increasing, plaintiff's attorneys are seeking ways to increase the presentation of their clients' economic damages. Recently, plaintiffs have attempted to circumvent the non-economic damages caps by employing damages experts who present economic damages that are truly non-economic damages and should only be considered by the jury. This program will explore the various types of claims being made by plaintiffs and how these so-called economic damages assessments are truly a damage double count between traditionally non-economic damages and economic damages. This program will prepare defense counsel and the claims professional to effectively defend against and rebut such claims and allow them to continue to evaluate the true economic exposure in the matter without inflated damages double counting of the plaintiff.
-Be mindful of non-economic damages being presented in the “economic context”
-If the damages claim is a “soft damage” i.e. loss of companionship, guidance, advice must scrutinize inputs. While the law may recognize such calculations, the calculations must be reasonable and make logical sense
-Everything cannot be measured to a reasonable degree of economic certainty
-Given the significant exposure these claims can create, must be proactive on defense of such claims
Rinat B. Klier Erlich, Zelms Erlich & Mack
Jonathan Kurens, Marsh
James Reilly, Markel Service, Incorporated
Katherine Tower, Protect Professionals Claims Management
This session will discuss what artificial intelligence is and how it is used in day-to-day life of insureds, consequently changing how we underwrite risks, manage claims, and practice law. Is this science fiction or is the future here? The session will explore existing technologies and how to better prepare the insurance industry for a changing world.Back to top
Sara Brothers, Great American Insurance Group
William "Chip" D'Angelo, Self Employed
Dawn Krigstin, Envoy Specialty LLC
Brian Margolies, Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan LLP
Houston, we have a problem. The emergency response and restoration industry in the United States is currently structured and managed to encourage excessive billing and costs to the insurance carrier and property owner following a CAT loss like Harvey or Irma, or any environmental event, fire, spill, release, water or wind-storm related loss. While there are many professional remediation, response, restoration, and mitigation companies operating both nationally and locally, the current industry standard, contracting structure, and project delivery method is fundamentally flawed, resulting in excessive costs being incurred by these firms and subsequently invoiced to the policy owner. The unaware policy owner submits these costs to the insurance carrier which often results in invoices being rejected or reduced. This then leads to payment delays, disputes, and litigation. Speakers will define the problem and present how all of this can be avoided by applying proven construction management principles and project delivery methods.
-Insurers should require that policy holders have in place a Disaster Response Plan for all insured property that describes the response protocol and procedure to a large property loss. The Plan should have pre-identified contractors and vendors with the proper insurance and contracting methods and pricing, in place.
-Insurers, adjustors, claims resolution professionals and policy holders should recognize the unfavorable contract format, terms, conditions and pricing of restoration and response vendors.
-Insurers, adjustors, claims resolution professionals and policy holders should recognize the unfavorable contract format, terms, conditions and pricing of restoration and response vendors.
Mitchell Ayes, Callahan & Fusco, LLC.
Jeremy Catlin, Hiscox
Teresa Dooley, Self Employed
Janelle Griffith, Lockton Companies, LLC
Taranae Hashemi, Gallo Vitucci & Klar
Earthquakes, Amtrak derailments, hurricanes, container ship collisions, and multi-vehicle crashes. Unfortunately, each of these incidents has occurred within the last year, garnering massive media attention and resulting in substantial public outcry and concern. Likewise, these incidents have resulted in millions of dollars in settlement payments to plaintiffs nationally. Recent natural disasters have caused insureds to incur significant costs in risk and loss mitigation. When these events occur, we are inundated by scenes of the aftermath and a plethora of opinions regarding preventative action. What has not been addressed, however, is what insurers and counsel can do to ensure that claim management and litigation are as efficient, effective, and encompassing as possible from loss through trial. This session will address litigating massive transportation catastrophes including transportation-related responses to natural disasters. In addition, speakers will discuss how to approach the media’s influence on public perception, when to secure experts, how and when best to collect pre-suit evidence, using creative thinking to troubleshoot and bolster defense strategy, and conceding that sometimes it is better to settle a case early in litigation.
Melissa Hill, Sompo International Insurance
Stacy L. La Scala, JAMS - La Scala
Brenda Radmacher, Akerman LLP
Mary Ann Vorndran, AXIS Specialty US Services, Inc.
Catastrophic events trigger an immediate high volume of property loss and business interruption claims. One key part of responding to these types of losses is the reconstruction and remediation efforts required for the impacted structures. Is it just easier to tear down and start all over? Will reconstruction just create more problems and additional future claims? How can you settle and resolve claims that are complex and often involve issues of subsequent claims of defects and deficiencies in the remediation efforts? This panel will focus its discussion on how to get these complex property loss claims resolved through communication tools, appraisal, and ADR.
-It is essential to establish clear communication between the policy holder and carrier in a property loss and business interruption claim.
-Contractors involved in the restoration process need clear contract documents, clear lines of communication with both the client and claims professional, and clear dispute resolution processes to address any construction and/or payment issues.
-Mediation can be utilized at each step in the claim process in a variety of formats, including electronic and in person, to ensure a fair and expeditious resolution of issues.
Frank English, Swiss Re
Howard Franco, Collins + Collins LLP
Dustin Sachs, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
Caryn Siebert, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Risk managers, third party administrators, insurers, and defense counsel collectively hold a treasure trove of personal information. Everything from medical identities, personal identifiers, and financial information to client secrets and digital records held in trust are subject to comprehensive and unrelenting attack. From hand held devices to complex information systems, all stakeholders in the legal and claims professions must focus on a new cultural shift to protect client confidentiality and our collective bottom lines. As members of a unique collective devoted to resolution, we need to ensure closure to protect client confidentiality. This presentation will address this risk from the standpoint of attorneys, risk managers, third party administrators, and insurers with key tips on how to stay current, fulfill ethical obligations, and stay ahead of the curve. Finally, we will have a candid discussion on cyber insurance for information, mitigation, and transfer of risk.Back to top
Larry Brungardt, Stillwater Insurance
Nick Lanza, Lanza Law Firm, P.C.
John Nunnally, Ragsdale Liggett PLLC
Claire Winston, Geovera Advantage Insurance Services, Inc.
This focused, frank discussion will address the importance of reducing legal spend in coordination with panel counsel. Speakers will discuss what the best law firms do to meet and exceed the expectations of the insurance claims leader or risk manager. Topics will include the importance of quickly placing a value on a new legal matter for the purpose of setting reserves, creative ways to resolve cases early in the lawsuit, what attributes separate the best defense firms from others, and the 2018 industry trends for claims handling and defense. The speakers and audience will engage when posed the question: What are your biggest litigation management pet peeves?Back to top
Elissa Doroff, Mosaic Insurance
Karen Furtado, Strategy Meets Action
Catherine Lyle, Coalition
John McGann, AXA XL
TIME, EXPENSE, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, HALO AFFECT
TECH - What is the future of this four letter word for insurance? Time: how will technology change the time we spend to buy insurance and handle claims? Expense: transactional cost versus the cost of doing business with TECH driving the decisions. Customer Experience: how our interaction with the broker/agent and customer will change in the next 5 years. Halo Affect: the race to advance TECH through data.Back to top
Ruth Chandler Cook, HireHer
Mary DePaolo Haddad, Fox Rothschild LLP
Wendy Kent, Travelers
Preston McGowan, Private Client Select
According to the United States Department of Labor, by 2050, there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the US, and traditionally under-represented groups will be the majority. Embracing this change in the workforce is critical because diversity not only increases creativity and innovation, but also promotes higher quality decisions and enhanced economic growth. While women and minorities in high-level executive positions serve as a pipeline to the under-represented, how do companies build a work culture that significantly raises the presence of this group in the C-Suite and in the Boardroom? In this session, we will identify effective mentoring and sponsorship practices that can be used to combat unconscious bias. Success stories of leaders in the industry will be spotlighted as they discuss their journey toward diversity as well as the pitfalls and successes of their strategies.Back to top
Kay Baxter, Gordon & Rees LLP
Dawn Dezii, Margolis Edelstein
Penny Hamilton, James River Insurance Company
Denise Koval, UFG Insurance
Join us for a dynamic discussion about approaching litigation from the prospective of team work, professionalism and ethics from inception through resolution. Speakers will examine the relationship between counsel, the claims professional, the insured and any additional named insureds, and all other moving components of a lawsuit. Discussions will center around the duties owed to the court and the ethical obligations of counsel and the claims professional as well as the vicarious iability each has for those in their employ, such as associates, less senior individuals, vendors, doctors, and private investigators. Speakers will also explore the behavior of counsel in deposition and in the courtroom, and interactions of claims handlers with mediators, witnesses, and experts. Speakers will address the idea of developing a zealous defense as a team in an effort to serve the best interests of the insurer and insured.
-Professional-ethical conduct furthers the best interests of the client and/or the policy holder.
-Working with the opposing side at times may be the better course of conduct and the more efficient way to resolve a claim rather than engage in hostile behavior which may serve only to protract litigation.
-This is a profession, you are a professional, you are representing your company, your client, your law firm, the profession and most improperly yourself…ACT LIKE IT.
Michelle Leighton, Conner Strong & Buckelew
Wendy Smith, Morgan & Akins, PLLC
Mark Walls, Safety National Insurance
Linda Youngerman, Lockton Companies, LLC
The statistics on the opioid epidemic are staggering today, and this sad epidemic is constantly creating new challenges for customers, insureds, risk managers, insurers, and TPAs when handling a claim or lawsuit. The insurance community has been hesitant to embrace alternatives to opioids such as cognitive behavioral therapy and medicinal marijuana. This session will explore the new tactics being taken with over-prescription of opioids by all involved in the claims process, viable alternatives to opioids for pain management, and legislative and regulatory efforts to curb the opioid epidemic from the perspectives of a risk manager, claims consultant, insurer, clinical expert and lawyer.Back to top
Naomi Kinderman, W.R. Berkley Corporation
Angela Kopet, Copeland, Stair, Valz & Lovell, LLP
Vic Marmo, Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation
Ronna Ruppelt, CLM
The successful implementation of an apology requires careful planning and creativity. This roundtable will explore the use of apologies when handling claims and litigation and how they can diffuse difficult situations. The speakers will also discuss Apology Laws and they will explore different scenarios when an apology helped or could have helped resolve a contentious dispute.Back to top
Jennifer Brooks, Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel LLP
Mitchell Dane-Henry, Sprouts Farmers Market
Alton Peralta, Crum & Forster
Melisha Zeigler, Liberty Mutual
A critical task for the insurance industry is to ensure they have crisis management plans and experienced real-time crisis response personnel in place to mitigate the potential impacts of a natural disaster and return to normal operations as quickly as possible. This session will offer tips on how to create a crisis management plan, including protocols for technology transfers, creating a virtual office, and other mechanisms to ensure continuity in claims handling and communication after a natural disaster. Post-disaster insurance coverage issues also will be discussed.Back to top
Jim Everett, Everett Cash Mutual Insurance Group
James Martin, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Charles Watkins, Kubicki Draper
In this timely session, speakers will lead a discussion concerning issues attendant to the overall management of auto total loss claims in catastrophic situations. Issues to be discussed include gaining knowledge of exposure pre-CAT, claim resolution options, referral flags for SIU, and the staging of SIU to handle them. Legal issues to be addressed include fair claim handling practices, Diminished Value on non total losses, fraud investigation assistance, and prosecution including fraud rings. Participants are encouraged to offer ideas, solutions, and examples of utilizing new technology and data to solve issues relative to these areas.
-Attendees will learn different strategies and technology to prepare for auto claims and fraud during a catastrophic event.
-Attendees will learn of new technology and different means of the deployment of it to resolve large numbers of auto claims and the fraud and legal issues attendant to them.
-Attendees will learn of post catastrophic event fraud and legal events and concerns.
Bruce Astrachan, Retail Business Services, an Ahold Delhaize company
Patrick Carroll, Aon
Adam Cohen, Davids & Cohen, P.C.
Brian Donnelly, Cullen and Dykman, LLP
Marty Lundstrom, Spark Energy, Inc.
Almost 20 million civil suits will be filed this year, a staggering number for the courts, the litigants, and the insurance industry. From this massive number of filings, less than one percent will ever go before a jury. Over the last several decades the number of jury trials has seen a drastic and continuous decline. The jury trial has deep legal, social, and economic roots. The jury trial is a not only a crucial element of risk management, but indeed is the central pivot of American legal system. However, the general public's exposure to the jury trial is more likely to come in the form of television trial dramas and movies. See why the decline of the jury trial may ultimately be a poisoned chalice as we look at its impact, past, present and future.
-The ability to successfully try a case to verdict is a crucial element of risk management.
-If Plaintiffs know that Defendants are unable or unwilling to go to trial, their demands will reflect that. The threat of trial is not something that should deter the defense of a case or enhance the value of a case. A defendant should always be willing and able to go to trial to either bring a Plaintiff back down to realty, or call his bluff.
-Whether you go to trial or not, having the ability to go to trial confidently is a major bargaining chip. With the right plan and right people in your corner, you may be able to prevent a small matter from turning into a high exposure case.
Christopher Aikens, Moss and Associates, LLC
Jerry Hamilton, Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel LLP
April Savoy, Acceptance Insurance
Patricia Trombetta, Bonezzi Switzer Polito & Perry
Plaintiff lawyers have become quite adept in setting up insurers for bad faith using the Reptilian Theory. Insurers must be able to identify and defend against the reptilian plaintiff strategies from the very onset of the claim. Failure to do so can result in significant extra-contractual damages later on after the case is over. This panel will present ways to identify the Reptile Theory and those attorneys using it and suggest effective strategies to level the playing field in cases involvng catastrophc injuries.
-Insurers must be able to identify and defend against the Reptile from the very onset of the claim. Realizing how the Reptile Strategy is utilized throughout all stages of the litigation process in a bad faith action is imperative for claim handlers to avoid extra-contractual damages.
-Always assume that all notes, emails, and documents within the claim folder could end up as an exhibit at trial. Do not write anything in a claim file or email that you would not want a jury to see.
-Your deposition is trial testimony. Whether you give a “yes” or “no” answer to Reptile questions will have to be carefully evaluated.
-Be prepared to respond to all other “Safety” rules questions. All risks cannot be eliminated; each case is different; make your “Safety” rules apply to the specific case at hand.
Michele Newman, Hamlin & Burton Liability Management, Inc.
Karen Salmon, GB Healthcare
Diane Skinner, Catholic Health Initiatives
Lee Weatherly, Copeland, Stair, Valz & Lovell, LLP
Jurors are increasingly more likely to publicly express a bias against foreign born doctors. Therefore, the risk of large verdicts against foreign born defendant doctors, simply due to their birthplace, is now greater than ever. Failing to address this issue can be disastrous to a defense and can have far reaching implications. Similarly, anxiety among foreign born doctors that have been sued can be significantly higher due to many factors, including the unfamiliarity with the American legal system. Failure to address these issues with your client or insured can increase the pain of being sued, make settlement agreements more difficult to reach, or increase the likelihood of a large adverse verdict. This presentation will briefly discuss data that shows us that defending foreign born doctors is a challenge in today's legal environment while taking a deeper dive on the issue of identifying jurors that may have difficulty finding in favor of foreign born doctors and trial techniques to make these potentially hostile jurors more empathetic and accepting. This presentation also will focus on best practices for claims professionals when evaluating cases with foreign defendants.
-You will learn American’s current opinions of immigrants according to recent statistics.
-You will learn techniques for identifying and screening out jurors who are likely to be adverse to foreign born Defendant physicians.
-You will learn how to help foreign born defendants cope with litigation and strategies to help them win at trial.
Margaret Donnell, Self Employed
Donna Hunt, Ironshore Insurance Company
Laurie Randolph, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Design professionals are facing ever-changing risks in today’s marketplace. The push for innovative structures and green initiatives to satisfy the demands of today’s consumer of design services has resulted in unique challenges for design professionals. To meet these new challenges, not only must a design professional continually come up with cutting edge designs, but they must be able to deliver services using the latest technologies. And these new designs must be able to withstand the wrath of mother nature in ways we have not experienced in many years. This session will provide a look at emerging risks facing design professionals that ten years ago were not on their radar. Learn about risk management strategies for addressing these challenges, how these risks increase exposure, insurance protections and response, and defenses to claims against design professionals arising from this new normal.
- This Panel addresses recent trends in areas where new exposures to design professionals are emerging and how legal and insurance professionals may address such exposures to present claims.
-Understanding the laws and statutes governing the standard of care of a design professional will assist the adjusters in managing and evaluating their claims. Understanding that these emerging areas are fraught with potential exposure but yet unlegislated, will also be an important factor for the adjuster to consider when evaluating the risk and claims exposure.
- This program will address the standard of care as it relates to new trends related not only to the design and construction of the home or building but the new liability exposure associated with those trends.
-This program will also provide information to insurance professional in the valuation of insuring risks based upon certain types of project or in certain geographical areas as well as assist the insurance claims professional in evaluating exposure in those areas based upon the new trends.
Anthony Polini, Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd.
Jeff Slivka, New Day Underwriting Managers LLC
Philip Wilusz, Chubb
Environmental claims and litigation issues have been plaguing real estate and development projects for years, resulting in delays, cost overruns, and third party exposures. As new development is focused on the inner city and waterfront properties, this trend is not going to decrease. Properties built in the 1960s and 70s are now obsolete and the renovation or demolition is uncovering hazardous materials and environmental challenges. New materials not addressed in the 1980s and 90s are now becoming regulated. Industry standard practices may yield environmental hazards and these exposures are not properly insured. However, these challenges can be overcome and claims can be avoided with proper risk engineering and new insurance products. This session is presented by seasoned experts exploring how these issues can be identified and properly addressed. The speakers will help participants understand the insurance policies available to cover environmental risks and how the risks can be mitigated and claims avoided. They will describe steps taken in preparing and defending an environmental claim or litigation, if one arises.
-The first step in claims handling is to understand the field that the insured is in, to anticipate potential losses that they will face, and to coordinate an important insurance program to cover their needs.
-Following a claims loss, it is important for the insured’s adjuster to work hand in with the client to prepare the claim from day one in order to best maximize coverage and to alleviate potential issues in the future.
-It is important to engage coverage counsel early in the process and to pursue coverage under all available policies, as coverage is often available under different policies and coverage grants.
Lance Ewing, Cotton Holdings, Inc.
Jeremy Mahugh , DeliverFund
Marisa Trasatti, Cipriani & Werner, PC
John Wall , Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance
There is a heinous and tragic risk that pervades a multitude of industries -- selling and coercing children and adults for sex and non-consensual labor. According to the U.S. Senate committee report, domestic trafficking of children for sex has jumped 846% in the past five years. Labor trafficking has also seen a rise in recent years, which forces people, not just children, to work against their will in many different businesses. This risk crosses socioeconomic, educational, political, racial, ideological, diversity and industry. This empowered session will educate the audience on the current situation, the use of technology in trafficking, what is being done to combat this modern day slavery, what industries and geographies are most vulnerable, and the use of risk identification, risk mitigation and recognition. Speakers will provide a risk management framework that will create a corporate awareness and response to the silent risk of human trafficking.Back to top
Tara Acton, Lumen Technologies, Inc.
Chris Mandel, Self Employed
William Pipkin, Austill, Lewis, Pipkin & Maddox, P.C.
In this engaging dialogue you will learn how to improve outcomes by using proactive strategies that engage, empower, and educate those who are injured or ill. You will gain the insights of four national experts representing the areas of claims management (third party administrator), risk management (large employer), psychology and medicine. You will learn why “caring counts” and the need for “living abled”; including how this results in reducing costs, both personal and financial. As a result of participating you will take with you specific action steps to enhance the success of your disability management programs.
- Identify factors that contribute to needless, avoidable disability; and how to avoid these.
- Explain why “caring counts” and “living abled” results in better outcomes.
- Discuss the development and implementation of approaches that engage, empower and educate those who are injured or ill.
- Identify the challenges involved in implementing proactive claims management approaches and how to deal with these challenges.
- Explain the return on investment (ROI) resulting from interventions reflecting caring.
Carolyn Crawford, Nationwide Insurance Company
Mike Melendez, Kennedys
Cheryl Soares, Fortegra
Ralph Woodard, Navigators, A Brand of The Hartford
Underwriters seek to ensure that insurance policies say what they mean and mean what they say. When a court interprets policy language consistently with the underwriters’ intent, insurance works from an actuarial perspective. But when it does not, insurers often respond by changing policy language. This presentation will examine how claims professionals should approach certain changes in standard CGL forms and how they are treated by courts in various jurisdictions. For example, the provision that an insurer must pay “all sums” the insured is legally obligated to pay as damages has been changed to “those sums.” If applied, this change can make a difference regarding allocation in continuous loss situations. Similarly, language extending an insurer’s duty to defend to claims that are “groundless, false, or fraudulent” has been deleted from standard policy forms, but many courts still read it into the policy. Join the speakers to delve into understanding how courts treat changes to policy language and how that can impact coverage.
-A claims professional cannot necessarily rely on the language in an insurance policy to determine coverage.
-A claims professional handling a third party claim must understand the law in the jurisdiction where a claim is brought against its insured before making a coverage determination.
-Where policy language had been changed, but has not been tested, a declaratory relief action may be the best course to test that language.
Peter Biging, Goldberg Segalla LLP
Sally Combs, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Kenneth Fall, Marsh
Aisling Jumper, Fair American Insurance and Reinsurance Company
Insurance agents and brokers are literally under siege. Intense competition has created incentives to promise ever increasing levels of specialized expertise and service. As a result, the public and the courts' perceptions of agents and brokers have evolved to where they are now routinely perceived as experts, specifically tasked with helping their customers navigate complex policy language and assist in procuring coverage carefully designed to manage risks specific to their customers’ particularized exposures. Further, the "duty to read" has largely gone from being an absolute brick wall defense to E&O claims, to something that merely offers, in many cases, opportunity to, perhaps, assign comparative fault. As the nature of insurable risks -- from storms, flooding, cyber, and professional liability, to name just a few -- become ever more fraught with peril and previously unheard of levels of exposure, the risks attendant to the defense of insurance agents and brokers continue to grow exponentially. This presentation will offer a discussion of how to handle the high exposure claim, from gathering facts and information and managing ESI at the outset, to understanding the inherent juror prejudices and biases, to making use of jury science, to preparing and presenting the agent/broker defense case at trial.
-Attendees will learn both the special risks presented by the agent/ broker E&O claim today, the factors contributing to these risks, and how those factors must be carefully evaluated and considered in investigating, evaluating, and, as necessary trying the high stakes agent/broker E&O claim.
-Attendees will also be provided with an understanding of the critical issues to be aware of in the high stakes agent/broker E&O case, and the critical measures to be taken to ensure that a full and complete investigation of the claim is undertaken, the costs of investigating and defending the claim are properly managed, the critical defense themes are fully developed, and the exposure risk is properly evaluated.
Adam Beltz, Network Adjusters, Inc.
Harvey Mensch, American Trucking & Transportation Insurance Company
Stewart Schmella, Lanza Law Firm, P.C.
Claire Winston, Geovera Advantage Insurance Services, Inc.
In this session speakers will address the Top 10 new trends and hot topics in the claims management field as experienced by leaders in the insurance, claims, and legal fields. From positions taken by plaintiffs counsel and why large verdicts were rendered by juries to success stories about how to combat plaintiff's claim for liability and damages, this session will give you an inside glimpse into the newest claims and litigation trends of 2018 from the claim, risk, and legal perspectives.Back to top
LaGreta Burch, Self Employed
Wanda Huberman, Westfield Insurance
Brian Kerns, Bonezzi Switzer Polito & Perry
John Walters, Walters Richardson, PLLC
A significant amount of litigation involves plaintiffs suing individuals and corporate entities for injuries that have been incurred in recreational activities. These cases can be defended on traditional principles of Primary Assumption of Risk, principals that have been incorporated into a doctrine that many jurisdictions label as the recreational activities doctrine, or the recreational 'no duty' rule. In many instances, these cases are subject to summary dismissal, without running the risk of trying such a case to a jury. In this age of systemic tort, when concussion litigation is emerging as a mass trend, schools, rec leagues, coaches and other youth sports coaches and facilitators are becoming targets of litigation. This panel will discuss the emerging potential class action and individual litigation targeting of individual and organizations relating to injuries arising out of participation in recreational and sporting activities, including what the panelists believe may be an emerging mass tort concern for concussion litigation reaching out beyond professional and collegiate levels to those of primary and secondary schools, as well as recreational league coaches and participants.Back to top
Edward Carlton, Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett, & Moser, P.C.
Thomas Chaseman, AIG
Laura Foggan, Crowell & Moring LLP
Barry Kaiman, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
Joanne Locke, Liberty Mutual
The American Law Institute proposed a Restatement of the Law on Liability Insurance. Several important sections of the Proposed Restatement are a departure from well-established legal doctrines related to insurance law. If approved by the ALI, what will this mean for the future of insurance claims handling and litigation management? Join us as we discuss the proposed Restatement and how claim handling and litigation management may be impacted in the very near future. Strategies to overcome the arguments increasingly being advanced by the plaintiff’s bar will be addressed as will the efforts being made to promote a more balanced approach by the ALI.
-The Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance began as a principles of law project in 2010 but in 2014 was converted to a Restatement of Law that was supposed to be based on actual common law, not aspirational principles however that Restatement has been through several drafts with much controversy related to many of the provisions as more aspirational and not in line with the majority view on the subject matter it involves.
-Many of the proposed sections of the new Restatement are unclear as to how they will be applied by the Courts across country, or if they will be adopted, particularly the rules for policy interpretation which do not follow the majority rule, the liability for insurers for the conduct of the defense is more aligned with agency principles than the law of lawyering and is inconsistent with it, and conditions under which an insurer must defend to now include allegations outside the complaint.
-Reasonable settlement decisions now discusses them in terms of what a reasonable insurer would do, leaving the analysis vague and open to interpretation, however it no longer requires the insurer to protect the insured from an excess judgment, but it must protect the insured from unreasonable exposure to an excess judgement and a method advocated is by making an offer before a demand and being willing to pay the policy limits in an excess of policy limits demand while telling the insured and giving them the option to pay the excess.
Stephen Dzury, Premia US
Eric Fitzgerald, McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC (MGC)
Anna Torres, TorresVictor
Celebrity driven defamation claims arising from social media have changed the landscape of liability and coverage under CGL, BOP, and Cyber policies. Analyzing exposure and coverage for defamation claims was never a routine exercise, but the legal theories involved in these claims have prompted creative defenses to liability and strategies to trigger coverage. We will look at the future of social media defamation litigation on a local level. Will your social media posts expose you or your business to defamation claims? How does social media liability expose an insurance professional to ethical complaints? Do you have coverage as an individual? Does your company or your firm have coverage for your social media activity? Our session will examine these cutting edge questions and more in a dynamic and interactive setting.Back to top
The Supreme Court's decision in Spokeo v. Robins has had rippling impacts on standing jurisprudence in federal courts across the country. The Court made clear that plaintiffs must have suffered concrete harm in order to pursue their data-breach cases. But the decision was muddled, as the Court also held that intangible harm may be concrete in certain undefined instances. The result has been a tidal wave of cases addressing whether plaintiffs’ harm was sufficiently concrete. The decisions often have been contradictory and difficult if not impossible to reconcile. This session offers diverse perspectives on these cases and the trends as speakers review the latest and most important decisions in each federal circuit, offer a cogent summary of the key allegations that either make or break plaintiffs’ burdens of establishing standing, and provide practical tips for identifying and addressing the key strategic issues in connection with motions to dismiss on standing grounds. The speakers will also address the implications for insurers and insureds as far as the challenges in finding and acquiring policies that cover statutory penalties, the principal coverage issues, and the impact on policy procurement and drafting. The logistics and challenges in mitigating risk despite the many unknowns in the post-Spokeo legal landscape will also be discussed.
-Insurers, defense counsel, and insureds need to understand the differences among federal circuits in their interpretations of Spokeo in data-breach and privacy cases. Those differences may have a profound impact on the manner in which these cases are assessed, defended, and ultimately settled.
-Insurers and brokers need to understand the extent to which policies may or may not cover statutory penalties, particularly given the potentially large exposure in federal circuits that are permissive in adjudicating whether plaintiffs have standing in data-breach and privacy cases.
-Defense counsel need to employ effective strategies based on the governing law interpreting Spokeo, including strategies for dispositive motion practice, discovery, and class certification.
Greg Gilliam, Schools of Ohio Risk Sharing Authority (SORSA)
Thomas Glassman, Bonezzi Switzer Polito & Perry
Stephen Henne, The National Catholic Risk Retention Group
Steven Pachman, Montgomery McCracken
When you think of sports concussion litigation, your first reaction is probably to think about professional sports. While the NFL class action and class actions in other sports have been in the spotlight, schools, churches, municipalities, and sports leagues are seeing an influx of concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) claims from participants of all ages. These claims present special challenges on a number of fronts. The medicine and science of concussion and CTE is still evolving. Claims often go back a number of years, if not decades. Evidence of exposure is often anecdotal and undocumented. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are aggressively searching for clients, and are not above using questionable theories of causation such as Second Impact Syndrome or even junk science. This discussion will address concussion and CTE claims from multiple perspectives. The group will discuss the the ever-evolving standard of care in this space as well as challenges both sides face in establishing exposure and causation, and how it does and does not compare to issues in toxic tort litigation. Speakers will address practices to adopt to better educate insureds on reducing and preventing such injuries and how to respond to and investigate claims if and when they are made.
-Sports concussion claims go far beyond professional sports. Insurance professionals and their attorneys need to be mindful of the wide nets plaintiffs’ attorneys cast, targeting both individuals and organizations.
-The science surrounding these claims is still evolving, and there is a proliferation of junk science. Lining up top expert witnesses is key on any claim, but it is even more crucial here. Counsel must be on a constant alert for Daubert issues.
-Diagnosing concussions and other related conditions is still fraught with uncertainty. Even more uncertain is establishing proximate cause.
Victoria Ersoff, Wood Smith Henning & Berman LLP
Stephanie Millea, Millea Law Firm, APC
Steven Velardi, The Hartford
David Zehner, Zehner Trial Consulting
Millennials as a group have been highly criticized, both as members of the workplace and as jurors, because of perceived attitudinal differences from the prevailing norms. What critics often forget, however, is that by 2030 millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce and predominate in juries. Millennials will define what the accepted norms are, and to this point, millennials have been largely uninterested in the claims handling field and accepting common defense arguments in trials about damages. A combination of millennial presenters, experienced claims professionals and a jury consultant will lead a discussion identifying how the claims industry needs to adapt to better appeal to the generations that will make up the vast majority of the workplace and juries in the foreseeable future and outline how the insurance industry and law firms will need to adjust to take advantage of the unique strengths of both the millennial generation and the newest generation, Generation Z.
-Participants will understand the predominating attitudes, views and beliefs of the Millennial generation, the largest generation that will make up 70% of the workplace by 2030.
-Claims handlers in this presentation will discuss the impediments to entry of Millennials to the claims handling industry and evaluate the cultural issues that prevent Millennials from viewing claims handling as a potential career.
-Participants will develop an appreciation for how Millennial attitudes are not actually problems but strengths that can be used to further develop processes that are already in place to improve outcomes in claims handling.
Maria Abate, Colodny Fass, P.A.
Vincent Gerbino, Bruno Gerbino Soriano & Aitken
Cathy Gicker, Allstate Insurance Company
Mary Sadousky, MetLife, Inc.
The rapid growth of pain management in minor accidents has resulted in what were $5,000 settlements becoming $100,000 demands. This session will explore what investigations have uncovered about the over-use of treatment with opioids as well as strategies for the investigation and subsequent settlements of these claims.Back to top
Sharon Horozaniecki, Wolters Kluwer, ELM Solutions
John McGann, AXA XL
Miranda Soto, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Legal invoice review is a vital component of legal cost control and predictability in claims, as it helps drive law firm compliance and consistency with billing guidelines and exposes cost “leaks.” However, this can often be challenging due to the large volume and complex details of billing guidelines. Artificial Intelligence (AI) combined with expert bill review services makes it easier for laws firm to be in full compliance and the client to review and pay invoices with confidence in their law firm partners. Join us for a discussion on how AI and machine learning can improve the operations of your claims litigation organization by increasing transparency now and in the future. Understand how claim operations can leverage advances in technology and data to improve legal spend management and billing guideline compliance, while controlling costs and improving law firm relationships.Back to top
Melissa Aliotti, Judicate West - ADR
Victoria Hampson, Home Depot U.S.A., Inc.
Kelly Hopper Moore, Liberty Mutual
Simon Keshishian, Red Bull
Patrick Norris, Copeland, Stair, Valz & Lovell, LLP
Are you leveraging mediation in all of the ways that you can and should? Creative and results proven mediation strategies save time, money and “man”power. An experienced group of corporate, counsel, carrier and neutral professionals leads a discussion regarding sophisticated ADR techniques in resolving general liability, personal injury, and mass and emerging tort cases (including CD). Discussion will include use of mediation days, jury mediation, bifurcation in ADR, and using your mediator before mediation. The group will provide practical ways to approach all parties to engage and obtain management/corporate support for successful implementation.
-Communicate with mediator beforehand. Let mediator know your position, explore potential roadblocks and coverage issues, and otherwise lay groundwork to hit the ground running at mediation.
-How to implement a successful mediation day program to reduce claim inventory and reduce litigation costs.
-Identify and implement creative resolution tools for various case types.
Stuart Colburn, Downs & Stanford, P.C.
Donna MacConnell, IMA
Michelle Villarreal, Occupational Accident Risk, Inc
This presentation takes a look into scenarios that present in our industry that cause personnel to make ethical decisions. The ethical component in claims investigations is very important. The role of a claims professional is special in that it affects people’s lives and the overall economy. As such, the law requires strict adherence to the highest ethical standards under an adjuster’s code of ethics and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, which is applicable in most jurisdictions. This roundtable will present several scenarios involving ethical decisions that challenge insurance professionals on a daily basis and explore how they are handled.Back to top
We join in the March Madness NCAA basketball frenzy with this fun evening we've dubbed CLM Madness. Catch the key games on our big screen televisions. Show off your basketball skills. Support your favorite teams. Just have fun in this action-packed evening experience. It's the perfect opportunity to connect with other attendees.Back to top
Tara Acton, Lumen Technologies, Inc.
Lance Ewing, Cotton Holdings, Inc.
William Harter, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Gray Sasser, Frost Brown Todd LLC
Dale Sherman, Allstate Insurance Company
Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
What are they and what is their impact on the insurance, legal and claims industries? Join us and learn more in this interactive session.
Steven Carabases, Hartford Global Specialty
Dion Cominos, Gordon & Rees LLP
Anthony Dolce, The Hartford
Stefano Minale, Tokio Marine HCC
This highly timely and thought-provoking session will focus on how carriers and law firms are employing the newest techniques and strategies and leveraging technology to handle and resolve claims more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. Perspectives will be shared from a variety of different lines of business including cyber, financial, GL, and PL. Attendees will be encouraged to join the discussion and share their experiences in this arena.
-Technology will play a major role in the future of claims management and will profoundly affect everything from the vetting/selection of counsel, handling of claims, and analysis of key industry metrics.
-There will always be a need for a personal element within the industry since such key issues as human judgment, creativity, innovation, subjectivity, empathy, and emotional intelligence will continue to be at the forefront of successful claims management.
-The proper use of technology in claims management can result in the delivery of superior service in a more intelligent, efficient and cost-effective manner.
James Early, Ringler
J. Russell Goudelock, McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC (MGC)
Caryn Siebert, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Taylor Smith, Suite 200 Solutions
Resolution professionals and the law firms that work with them benefit significantly when they use all the tools available to them to resolve the cases they are managing. Yet many of the industry’s newer professionals and attorneys have not had significant exposure to the use of structured settlements. Recent industry developments, including the potential expansion of Medicare Set-Asides requirements to liability cases, make this discussion both imperative and timely. This discussion will explore the benefits of considering, developing and presenting structured settlements as part of a resolution best practices model. Speakers will discuss practical ways of identifying the right cases, how to respond effectively to claimant needs through structures, how to highlight the advantages to claimants, and how to respond to plaintiff attorney objections. In addition, the group will examine the operational and financial benefits to defense attorneys, front line claims professionals, and the claims organizations they serve. Particular attention will be paid to the economic advantages of structures in the Medicare Set-Aside environment. Through significant audience participation, attendees will leave the session with a greater understanding of how to use these powerful tools to more effectively achieve their resolution objectives.Back to top
Edward Christian, Lancer Insurance Company
Thomas J. Fay, Boyle | Shaughnessy Law PC
John Lucas, Sompo International Insurance
Diane Messerschmitt, Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd.
This session will analyze, and open a discussion around, effective claims handling techniques when faced with Reptile oriented plaintiff's counsel. The Reptile Theory is a technique that has gained momentum nationwide where personal injury lawyers attempt to trigger a fear response in jurors in an effort to attain large jury awards. The Reptile Theory suggests that humans and reptiles have similar fear receptors within their brains. Reptilian practitioners attempt to present the case as a matter of community safety suggesting it is the juror's role to enforce. This session will discuss ways to identify the Reptile Theory and its practitioners and suggest strategies to level the playing field. The discussion will include a review of real cases, including a Boston premises security case in which a new trial was ordered by the trial judge after a $4M plaintiff’s verdict due to misconduct by Reptilian lawyers. Speakers also will present, as an example of Reptilian tactics, a case study where the plaintiff’s attorney included evidence of the defendant’s wealth as an exhibit to a settlement demand package.
-Participants will gain an awareness of the reptile theory and common/new tactics used by plaintiffs’ counsel
-Participants will learn of legal strategies which will help to combat these tactics
-Participants will gain insights into utilizing the reptile theory concepts within legal appeals
Jeremy Buchalski, Wilson Elser
Katie Fox, Verisk
Ronald A. Mazariegos, Arrowpoint Capital
Johnny Meyer, Ametros Financial Corporation
New Medicare policies and updates continue to rapidly change the Medicare Secondary Payer compliance landscape. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") trends continue to impact Workers Compensation Medicare Set Aside (WCMSA), the conditional payment process and the settlement process as a whole. This session examines all the major CMS changes and steps you can take to retool your Medicare best practices in order to effectively settle workers' compensation claims and to mitigate claim costs by using state mandated treatment guidelines to your advantage to ultimately resolve the claim.
Paul Caleo, Burnham Brown
Michael Dickert, Comcast NBCUniversal
Jason Lockhart, McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC (MGC)
Bruno Para, Liberty Mutual
As analytical and technological solutions expand the use of both quantitative and qualitative performance indicators to assess whether partnerships between insurers and law firms are mutually productive and profitable, clients are asking whether the delivery of consistent legal results and cost containment are enough to meet critical business needs. Leading consumers of legal services have found that firms that are actively pursuing the use of business intelligence to create operational efficiencies and better inform strategies are making a difference. Strong partnerships that foster innovation in our continuously changing environment are outpacing those of both peers and competitors. This session will explore what legal consumers are doing to engage top law firms to elevate the delivery of legal services above the norm. The critical role that data, analytics and technology play in advancing law firm quality and effectiveness, creating optimal alignment and proactively meeting client demands will be explored. In addition, creating synergy between evolving analytics (scoping and metrics), firm expertise, case handling and communicating expectations to create Alternative Fee Arrangements (phased pricing) that optimize legal outcomes, best practices and financial considerations for law firms, clients, customers and claims will be explored.Back to top
Lance Ewing, Cotton Holdings, Inc.
Richard E. King, Melchiode Marks King LLC
Stephen Truono, NFI Industries
Insurance policies are one of the least read and most confusing business documents. They are fraught with legalese, language that few claims or risk professionals truly understand. This session will provide a policy language course and break down the verbiage, common mistakes in policy issuance, where the claims professional needs to focus, and how the policy language plays a pivotal role in the claims process. Led by a policyholder attorney and seasoned risk/claims professionals, this session will keep you from getting tongue tied.
-Insurance policies are changing and becoming more complex to understand. Risk, legal, claims adjusters and claims professionals are in need of understanding where litigation can arise against carriers due to policy wording.
-New case law related to the interpretation of policies vary by states in the court and legal system leading to clients needing awareness and legal offense.
-Insurance carriers are protecting their financial balance sheets by changing policy language both standard and manuscript. Policy review is necessary for more education and cognizance of where the changes are occurring to trigger or not trigger coverage.
Douglas Benner, EK Health Services, Inc.
Edward Canavan, Self Employed
Vance Knapp, Armstrong Teasdale LLP
Ronald Thackery, Thackery Group
It’s a topic that impacts virtually all employers -- how will legislation surrounding recreational and medical marijuana use affect businesses when it comes to compensability for workers compensation? Despite the increasing number of states that have legalized the use of medicinal marijuana, until recently, the impact on workers compensation claims has been limited. While there has been some activity on the federal side over the past year, marijuana remains illegal under federal law as a Schedule I drug in the Controlled Substances Act. Such substances are illegal to distribute, prescribe, purchase or use outside of medical research. Today, employers must understand the laws and relevant legal decisions pertaining to marijuana in each state where their businesses operate. This session will provide attendees with the latest legislative information related to the use of marijuana in the treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses and feature a practical and insightful discussion from a Colorado based employer and how the organization chose to address these issues.Back to top
Sandra Brown Langolf, Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan LLP
David Langolf, Arch Insurance Group Inc.
Matthew Rabin, Arch Insurance Group Inc.
For years the legal industry has been warning that hacking of medical devices is the next security nightmare. In May 2017, the first medical devices were hit by ransomware in U.S. hospitals, making this nightmare a new reality. As the technological landscape surrounding medical devices quickly evolves, the liability ramifications for doctors, administrators, hospitals, and device manufacturers also expands into uncharted territory. This interactive session will address why medical devices are vulnerable to ransomware hacks, key mitigation measures for preventing and responding to a ransomware attack, and how the increase of ransomware attacks will affect claims by healthcare entities.
-Ransonware attacks are increasing both against businesses and individuals. As these attacks increase, the claims will rise. This presentation will highlight coverage issues associated with these attacks.
-Ransonware attacks against medical devices are on the rise and pose the risk of harming patients that use these devices, the unauthorized release of individual private health information, and hindering the functioning of the devices, providers and hospitals.
-Medical providers should be aware of the risk of ransomware attacks and how to safeguard against the attack as well as have an action plan for how to react when facing an unexpected attack.
Ed Bowman, Cumberland Insurance Group
Amy Cooper, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Matt McColley, KW Specialty Insurance Company
Richard Ranieri, Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby LLP
Twenty-five percent of the Baby Boomer workforce is retirement eligible within the next five years. Accordingly, carriers and outside counsel will need ready professionals to successfully move forward in this rapidly changing landscape. In this session you will learn how to grow, motivate, and retain the ever-expanding millennial workforce and how both claims professionals and outside counsel can maximize what needs to be a synergistic approach to future staffing and management of claims.Back to top
Edward Donohue, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Matthew Gullickson, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Brian Krantz, LPL Financial
Richard Sheridan, Berkley Cyber Risk Solutions
Cyber attacks affect professionals in all industries today, including attorneys, accountants, medical service providers, as well as health, life, and disability agents and brokers. Speakers will discuss current trends, loss experiences, and risk management techniques. They also will review four hypotheticals covering the sources of exposure and the financial and various risk management impacts of attacks.Back to top
One of downtown Houston’s most significant redevelopment projects, the Downtown Aquarium is the product of restoring two historic landmarks into an aquatic wonderland, focusing on the marine life found close to the shores of Southeast Texas. Some of the exhibits include a Louisiana Swamp, a 17th century Spanish galleon shipwreck, and Gulf of Mexico exhibit with offshore rig divers. Cost includes access to rides.
Space Center Houston is the gateway to NASA Johnson Space Center, where visitors will experience the past, present, and future of space travel. Highlights: Tram Tour, a behind the scenes look at space exploration, Independence Plaza, a replica of the shuttle mounted on top of the shuttle aircraft, NASA 905, the Apollo 17 Command Module, a frequent visitor to the moon, and Starship Gallery.
Anchored by the renowned Museum of Fine Arts, an Artcentric visit to the Houston Museum District offers a variety of museums within close proximity of each other. The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest art museums in America with more than 300,000 square feet of space devoted to the display of art. Another highlight is the Rothko Chapel, a sacred, tranquil place featuring the “Broken Obelisk” sculpture along with mural canvases of Mark Rothko. Another must see art museum is the Menil Collection, housing over 17,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawing and photographs from the private collection of John and Dominique de Menil. Cost includes admission to all three museums.
Indoor skydiving is the simulation of true freefall conditions in a vertical wind tunnel. It’s where the dream of flight becomes reality. Participants will receive a detailed safety briefing and then launch into the tunnel under the guidance of an instructor for a skydiving experience. Each person will have two chances to fly (two minutes each time) and, as a memory of the occasion, receive a link to a video of them in flight.
No Learning Objectives Available