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Arbitration clauses have become ubiquitous in modern commerce.  The legal services industry is not immune from this trend.  Today, many law firms include arbitration provisions in their client engagement letters.   This trend raises the important question: are such arbitration provisions enforceable in the face of a legal malpractice claim? If so, under what circumstances are such arbitration provisions enforceable? Judicial and Advisory Ethics Opinions Recent court decisions on the subject have made clear that arbitration…
In 2013, Missouri enacted Section § 303.390 also known as the “No Pay, No Play” law. This law prohibits uninsured motorists from collecting damages for non-economic losses when involved in a motor vehicle accident. In other words, an uninsured driver can still recover damages for property losses, medical bills, and lost wages against the at-fault party but is otherwise barred from obtaining damages for pain and suffering. Under the law, those damages are “waived” by…
The spread of the Delta variant in the United States is creating another spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths. This in turn has caused an increased push to get people vaccinated.[1] Although private employers generally may mandate vaccination in most jurisdictions, this is not without limitation. The following are some important issues for private employers to consider before implementing a vaccine mandate. Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodations Employers must ensure that any policy mandating vaccination…
by Meghan Rigney During the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021, governors throughout the United States ordered many businesses deemed non-essential to close their doors. As a result, many of these businesses sought relief from their insurance providers by making claims under Building and Personal Property and Business Income coverage forms. Nationwide, policyholders and insurance companies have litigated the issue following an overwhelming number of claims and coverage denials. A 2020 case out of the…
by Susan A. Wagener In a recent decision, the Illinois Appellate Court First District held that a trial court’s failure to issue a loss of chance jury instruction denied the plaintiff a fair trial, and in so doing, reversed longstanding precedent that the Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction on proximate cause properly states the law in loss of chance medical malpractice cases. Bailey v. Mercy Hosp. & Med. Ctr., 2020 IL App (1st) 182702, ¶ 3.…
by Stephanie W. Weiner On May 28, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed SB 0072 into law. This provision amends 735 ILCS 5/2-3103 and provides for prejudgment interest of 6% for personal injury cases. Interest runs from the date the complaint is filed. Accrual of interest is tolled if a case is voluntarily dismissed. This legislation serves to impose interest on most elements of damages, including future damages, non-economic damages, and medical bills. It does not…
On May 14, 2021, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill (SS HB 345) to reform the notorious RSMo § 537.065. The Missouri Senate approved the bill earlier on April 13, 2021. If signed by the Governor, the bill would become law effective August 28, 2021. The bill can be read here. From the insurance industry perspective, the current version of RSMo § 537.065 (2017) often has allowed plaintiffs and insureds in certain…
Insurance coverage issues don’t often deserve such a headline, but this case is, well – different. Case Background If you lived in Missouri between 2011 and 2013, you’ll likely remember the horrible murder of Betsy Faria. She was killed inside her home in Troy, Missouri, two days after Christmas 2011. She’d been brutally stabbed 55 times. Betsy’s husband, Russ Faria, was convicted of the crime in 2013, but the conviction was overturned. He was acquitted…
Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) establishes safeguards and procedures relating to the retention, collection, disclosure, and destruction of biometric data. 740 ILCS 14/15. Passed in October 2008, BIPA is intended to protect a person’s unique biological traits – the data encompassed in a person’s fingerprint, voice print, retinal scan, or facial geometry. Id. But in the last few years, BIPA – with its statutory penalties of $1,000 for each negligent violation and $5,000 for…
In 2021, the Missouri General Assembly continues its effort for tort reform related to asbestos civil actions. This year’s proposed legislation is similar to legislation introduced in the past and includes substantive and procedural requirements for lawsuits filed for damages related to asbestos exposure. H.B. 363 H.B. 363, sponsored by Representative David Gregory, requires a plaintiff to disclose claims he or she has made with qualified asbestos trust funds. The bill also addresses the admissibility…