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Should you pay to settle a lawsuit or fight to a verdict?

Litigation, like war, is supposed to be the means of last resort to resolve disputes. Indeed, war has many more permanent consequences, but they have some similar implications. Both cost an exorbitant amount of money, and both cause a great deal of pain and animosity among the combatants.

For small businesses, protracted litigation can be devastating to one’s bottom line. This is why “nuisance” lawsuits are so troubling. The scenario commonly goes like this: a larger company brings a complaint that is essentially baseless, but is legally sufficient in fact and law to avoid a motion to dismiss. However, in order to defeat the claim, it may take tens of thousands of dollars in litigation and the prospect of receiving attorney’s fees upon prevailing is remote. So the business owner has to make a decision: do you pay now to make the claim go away, or do you fight (based on principle) so that you are not picked on again?

Coverage for interruptions critical for businesses

In the midst of news about the government shutdown being resolved, not much news is being devoted to the state of the economy. This is probably good news for businesses looking to take advantage of the new tax reform law, and it is also a sign that the economy is in good shape.

But even in sound economic times, businesses must prepare for when problems arise, because no one can predict when disasters will strike. That is why insurance policies and contingency plans are increasingly important. 

Children's electronic maker settles with the FTC

As data analytics become increasingly important for businesses, the collection of data has become a standard of operation. It has become such a mainstream that even electronic toys created for children may be programmed to collect personal information that could be used for future marketing and analysis. However, this information may be collected without obtaining parental permission, which could lead to significant liability.

According to a recent businessinsurance.com report, Hong Kong based toymaker VTech agreed to settle charges raised by the U.S. Department of Justice that it failed to obtain verifiable consent from parents before collecting information about children who use their products. Essentially, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged that VTech’s Kid Connect application collected personal information from hundreds thousands of children without parental consent or even notifying parents that such information was being collected. 

Thoughts on cyber insurance coverage

As we turn the calendar to 2018, an important consideration for businesses is to make sure that they are properly covered for calamities that may come their way. Of course, most understand that they must have liability policies or errors and omissions (E&O) coverage, but they also believe that this coverage applies to cyber attacks and subsequent damage, such as third-party losses stemming from personal injury and commercial crime.

However, a typical insurance policy may not offer such coverage, which could leave a business exposed to liability.  

Are hotels responsible for protecting employees from harassment?

The slew of sexual harassment allegations lodged against powerful, high profile men continues on. Last week, Minnesota senator Al Franken resigned from his post amidst such allegations. Celebrity chef Mario Battali was suspended after similar allegations surfaced. Additionally, talk show host Tavis Smiley has been pulled off the air pending an investigation of inappropriate relationships with subordinates.

While the list of high profile men accused appears poised to grow, the public outcry against sexual harassment has not reached the most vulnerable of employees. Hotel housekeepers often are continual victims of sexual harassment because they are low-wage service industry workers that are often marginalized through a number of factors, including language differences, inherent power disparities, physical isolation and over-reliance on customer satisfaction. 

Are you ready to deal with security breaches?

If you run a business that completes transactions online, you store confidential information electronically, or have servers to that collect and process such information, avoiding security breaches has to be a high priority issue. After all, there are stories about major companies being hacked and customer information being stolen all the time. This could lead to many forms of identity theft and other cybercrimes.

Indeed, many cybercrimes and security breaches do not become high profile stories unless sensitive personal information is stolen or exposed. This means that these types of maladies can happen to any business on any given day, including yours. How do you get ready and how do you deal with a security breach? This post will provide some helpful tips.

The challenges of cyber coverage for property insurers

As digital technologies have come to play a bigger and bigger role in our lives, cyber attacks having been growing in their scope, prevalence and variety. This creates many new pressures and challenges. This includes challenges for property insurers.

Cyber coverage is among the coverage such insurers may provide businesses and other policyholders. Given the damage cyber attacks can cause, claims related to such coverage could get quite high. So, what happens with the cyber insurance policies they provide can have major impacts on the financial situation of property insurance companies.

What vehicles see the least seat belt use here in Louisiana?

Traffic accidents can involve a wide variety of motor vehicles. Different types of vehicles vary in the types of issues that could be likely to come up in accidents involving them. For example, here in Louisiana, it appears there is a fair amount of variation in how likely seat belt use is among different vehicles.

Recently, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission did a study on seat belt use in the state. Among the things the study looked at was the rate of driver and front passenger seat belt use in cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and vans. The study found pickup trucks to have the lowest rate among these four vehicle types. Here are the driver/front-passenger seat belt use rates that the study determined:

Home risks, insurance rates and insurance laws differ from area to area

Different locations differ in a wide range of ways. This includes ways that can have big implications when it comes to homeowners’ insurance.

For one, locations vary in what risks homes in them are likely to face. For example, some areas may have a higher likelihood of seeing major natural disasters. Other areas may see higher crime or theft rates.

How common is it for businesses to experience cyber attacks?

Cyber attacks can cause all manner of havoc for a business. A recent survey points to it being very common for businesses to find themselves the victims of such attacks these days. It suggests that over half of U.S. companies have been subjected to such an attack in the past year.

The survey was of over 400 executives from businesses from across the United States. The responses of these executives indicated that around 53 percent of U.S. companies were the victim of a cyber attack within the past year. According to the responses, some of the most common kinds of attacks such companies were subjected to were malware and viruses.

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CAFFERY, OUBRE, CAMPBELL & GARRISON, L.L.P.

Lafayette Office
100 East Vermillion Street
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Lafayette, LA, 70501
Phone: 337-446-2442
Fax: 337-269-1753
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