Groups urge Fla. court rehearing in workers' comp TDD benefits case | Editorial: Wash. needs tougher drunken-driving laws | Colorado State's Gray says to expect an active hurricane season
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March 29, 2013
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Groups urge Fla. court rehearing in workers' comp TDD benefits case
PCI and other parties have filed an amicus brief asking an appeals court in Florida to rehear a workers' compensation case after the court overturned the state's time limit on temporary total disability benefits. The decision could prompt suits over gaps between TTD benefits and permanent total disability benefits, the amicus brief argues. The ruling "purports to invalidate a single provision as applied only to" the case but "is a shot over the bow of the entirety of the [workers' comp] act," the brief says. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (3/28)
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Industry News
Survey: Texting while driving is rampant among adult motorists
A survey by AT&T found that adult drivers admit to texting while behind the wheel at a higher rate than do teenagers. "I was a little bit surprised. It was sobering to realize that texting while driving by adults is not only high, it's really gone up in the last three years," AT&T's Charlene Lake says. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported separately that 31% of U.S. drivers have sent electronic messages while behind the wheel. USA Today (3/28)
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Editorial: Wash. needs tougher drunken-driving laws
A recent deadly auto crash should prompt Washington state lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at tightening drunken-driving rules, this editorial argues. "Although ignition interlock devices can be useful tools to prevent DUI, many offenders ordered to use them fail to do so. ... Greater enforcement -- and higher penalties for noncompliance -- are needed," the editorial says. The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)/Inside Opinion blog (3/28)
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Catastrophic Risk
Colorado State's Gray says to expect an active hurricane season
The 2013 hurricane season is expected to be active because the El Niño phenomenon is less likely to develop this year, said William Gray, who leads Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)/The Associated Press (3/28)
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Experts use social media to provide storm updates
The National Hurricane Center is using the Web and social media to disseminate storm information. "We want people making decisions on what their family needs to do for evacuation on a trusted source," said Dan Brown, a senior specialist at the center. The Palm Beach Post (Fla.) (3/28)
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Fla. House panel OKs bill to reduce Hurricane Catastrophe Fund
A Florida House subcommittee has advanced legislation to reduce the state's Hurricane Catastrophe Fund by $3 billion over a three-year period. The bill also seeks to change the name of the fund to the State Board of Administration Finance Corp. The bill needs two other committee approvals before it can be considered by the full House. The Palm Beach Post (Fla.)/News Service of Florida (3/28)
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Policy and Law
Ky. governor signs bill allowing electronic proof of auto insurance
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has signed into law legislation to enable motorists to show an electronic copy of their auto insurance information. Drivers will avoid fix-it tickets for failing to present insurance cards at traffic stops under the law and will enable insurers to make transactions paperless and convenient for consumers, said PCI's Jeffrey Junkas. PropertyCasualty360 (3/28)
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Tort-reform bill clears Fla. House subcommittee
A bill that would restrain "bad faith" lawsuits against insurers in Florida has cleared the state House Civil Justice Subcommittee. Attorneys for plaintiffs in insurance disputes build such cases by resorting to "gotcha tactics," said Joseph Kissane, an insurers' representative. "Florida is not just toxic [for bad-faith cases]. It's come to the point where Florida is being laughed at," Kissane said. Sunshine State News (Fla.)/News Service of Florida (3/28)
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Bill that would bring back medical-liability cap advances in Mo.
The Missouri House has given preliminary approval to legislation to revive a $350,000 cap on damages in medical-malpractice lawsuits. The bill excludes provisions of a measure passed last year that were ruled to be unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. KRCG-TV (Jefferson City, Mo.)/The Associated Press (3/28)
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Other News
It is impossible to live pleasurably without living prudently, and honorably, and justly; or to live prudently, and honorably, and justly, without living pleasurably."
-- Epicurus,
Greek philosopher
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