January 28, 2009
Rebuffed by regulators in its efforts to raise homeowner rates by nearly 50 percent, Florida’s largest private insurer of property announced Tuesday that it would shutter all its property insurance business in the state.
The decision, by State Farm Florida, a subsidiary of the giant insurer State Farm Mutual, affects more than a million policyholders and is another financial setback to a state with one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates and rising unemployment. It could also increase the burden on a state-created insurance company, which must accept customers if they have nowhere else to go.
The announcement followed by two weeks a decision of the Florida insurance commissioner, Kevin McCarty, to reject the company’s request for a statewide homeowner rate increase of 47.1 percent.
Read Article: New York Times
Congress gave final approval on Tuesday to a civil rights bill providing women, blacks and Hispanics with powerful new tools to challenge pay discrimination in the workplace. It is likely to be the first significant legislation signed by President Obama.
The 250-to-177 vote in the House came five days after the Senate passed the bill, 61 to 36.
The bill, named for Lilly M. Ledbetter, a longtime supervisor at a Goodyear tire plant in Alabama, would make it easier for workers to win lawsuits claiming pay discrimination based on sex, race, religion, national origin, age or disability.
Ms. Ledbetter became a champion of women’s rights and an outspoken supporter of Mr. Obama after the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision in 2007, rejected her lawsuit against Goodyear.
Read Article: New York Times
High school cheerleading is a contact sport and therefore its participants cannot be sued for accidentally causing injuries, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a case being closely watched in the cheerleading world.
The court ruled that a former high school cheerleader cannot sue a teammate who failed to stop her fall while she was practicing a stunt. The court also said the injured cheerleader cannot sue her school district. The National Cheer Safety Foundation said the decision is the first of its kind in the nation.
At issue in the case was whether cheerleaders qualify for immunity under a Wisconsin law that prevents participants in contact sports from suing each other for unintentional injuries.
Read Article: Houston Chronicle
The relatives of a 72-year-old woman whose death may be linked to the widespread peanut butter salmonella outbreak have sued the operators of a Georgia peanut butter plant and an Ohio distributor saying their negligence caused her death.
Relatives of Shirley Mae Almer filed the wrongful death lawsuit Monday in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis, attorney Fred Pritzker said Tuesday.
The complaint says her death was a direct result of eating peanut putter infected by a salmonella strain linked to the nationwide outbreak.
Almer, who had been staying temporarily in a nursing home in Brainerd, Minn., near her home in Perham in central Minnesota, died Dec. 21. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak may have contributed to eight deaths nationwide. As of Monday, the CDC said more than 501 people in 43 states have been sickened since September.
Read Article: Forbes
California insurers are discriminating against women, charging them more for individual health insurance than men, the city of San Francisco maintained in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the state regulators who govern them.
The suit contends that Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and Cindy Ehnes, director of the Department of Managed Health Care, approved a system that allows the insurance companies to impose “gender rating” when pricing policies, resulting in women paying as much as 39% more for coverage then men.
At issue in the suit are rates for individuals and not group policies. These policies are often purchased by people who are unemployed or work for businesses that don’t offer health insurance or adequate coverage.
Read Article: Los Angeles Times
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