October 30, 2008
Striking new evidence has emerged of a widespread gap in the cost of health insurance, as women pay much more than men of the same age for individual insurance policies providing identical coverage, according to new data from insurance companies and online brokers.
Some insurance executives expressed surprise at the size and prevalence of the disparities, which can make a woman’s insurance cost hundreds of dollars a year more than a man’s. Women’s advocacy groups have raised concerns about the differences, and members of Congress have begun to question the justification for them.
The new findings, which are not easily explained away, come amid anxiety about the declining economy. More and more people are shopping for individual health insurance policies because they have lost jobs that provided coverage. Politicians of both parties have offered proposals that would expand the role of the individual market, giving people tax credits or other assistance to buy coverage on their own.
Read Article: New York Times
Recent layoffs at Dell unfairly targeted women and workers over age 40, and the company discriminates against women in pay and promotions, according to a new lawsuit filed by four former human-resources managers at the computer maker.
The four former HR executives at Dell are seeking US$500 million in a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The four women alleged that the company and its “old boy network” discriminated against women in pay, job placement, promotions and layoffs.
Dell in May 2007 announced plans to lay off about 8,800 workers, about 10 percent of its workforce. Those layoffs unfairly targeted women and older workers, and more than 80 percent of Dell’s upper management is now male, the lawsuit alleges.
Read Article: New York Times
A state appeals court on Wednesday opened the door wide to malpractice liability for hospitals that use contract doctors in circumstances that lead patients to believe they are staff physicians.
By keeping mum about a doctor’s status as a contractor, a hospital vests the doctor with “apparent authority” and the patient may be presumed to have accepted care in the reasonable belief that the doctor is acting in the hospital’s behalf, the court held in Estate of Cordero v. Christ Hospital et al. , A-1289-07.
The judges reinstated a malpractice claim against Jersey City’s Christ Hospital, finding that although it did not explicitly represent an anesthesiologist to be a member of its staff, neither did it dispel the notion that he was an outsider for which the hospital was not responsible.
Ramona Cordero, a 51-year-old diabetic, entered the hospital on Sept. 22, 2003, for surgery to install a catheter. Dr. Selvia Zaklama, an employee of the Hudson Anesthesia Group under contract with the hospital, was assigned to provide services during the procedure. Cordero had never met him before. He wore no identification and introduced himself to her simply as the anesthesiologist, not disclosing his relationship with the medical group or the hospital.
Read Article: Law.com
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against a crib distributor for allegedly ignoring a nationwide recall of bassinets that can cause babies to suffocate.
Madigan criticized federal regulators Wednesday for failing to take aggressive action against SFCA Inc.
“Our investigation revealed that SFCA continued to distribute recalled products that posed serious risks to children,” Madigan said in a statement. “I will not allow this company to wash its hands of responsibility to Illinois families.”
The Associated Press could not reach SFCA or its attorneys.
The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission first announced on Aug. 28 that Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Toys “R” Us Inc., Kmart Corp., Big Lots, Target, J.C. Penney recalled Simplicity Inc. bassinets after the strangulation death of at least one baby. Other retailers have followed.
SFCA purchased the assets of Reading, Pa.-based Simplicity earlier this year. It has said that it is not responsible for products previously manufactured by Simplicity.
Read Article: Chicago Tribune
A state appeals court on Wednesday overturned a $1.5-million award for a former Los Angeles prosecutor who said City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo and other supervisors retaliated against her for filing a sex discrimination complaint and reporting misconduct by other attorneys.
The Court of Appeal in Los Angeles found that the evidence did not support Lynn Magnandonovan’s allegation. The 2-1 ruling reversed a 2006 jury decision that also gave Magnandonovan substantial legal fees. Her attorney at the time called the awards “an indictment of the city attorney’s office.”
Instead, the appellate judges painted a far different picture: one of an unprofessional, problem employee who was openly hostile to judges, court officials and co-workers.
The appellate ruling found that Delgadillo had a legitimate reason for firing Magnandonovan in 2002 because she had “behaved in a wholly unacceptable manner before Superior Court judges.” The decision was written by Presiding Justice Paul Turner, with Justice Sandy R. Kriegler concurring.
Read Article: Los Angeles Times
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