RISC eNews Blast - July 26, 2013

RISC eNews Blast for March 16, 2012
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RISC eNews Blast

JULY 26, 2013

  The RISC eNews Blast is intended to provide relevant and timely news information from a number of sources to member pool staff.  In this week's edition of the RISC eNews Blast:


Tech Companies Want Data Breach Notification Law (Corporate Counsel, July 24, 2013): The House Energy and Commerce Committee has held a hearing on the need to adopt a federal breach notification law to provide consistency in how organizations are required to respond to a data breach. Previous efforts have failed. The viewpoints presented varied greatly, from advocating a single federal statute that would preempt all state laws to leaving the matter up to the states, most of which have already addressed it.

Crooks who stole Schnucks data lie far from law enforcement’s grasp (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/21/2013): In this analysis of the Schnuck’s data breach, a point of particular interest to pool members could be the analysis of who ultimately bears the loss of fraudulent charges. Although the bank that issued the customer’s credit card reimburses the customer for the fraudulent charges, that bank may seek to recover from the bank of the organization that accepted the card, and that organization’s bank may in turn look to its customer, which could be a public entity.


Obesity’s new label a concern for employers (Kansas city Star, 7/22/2013): The decision of the American Medical Association to classify obesity as a disease may increase the chances that an obese employee will be considered to be a person with a disability who is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The watch is now on to see whether the EEOC expands its definition of disability to include obesity that is less than “morbid obesity”. Obese workers are already protected under the ADA if they have weight related conditions that constitute a disability, or if they are discriminated against based on a perceived disability. This may be a useful topic for pools to include in their member training on employment practices.


Medicare Advantage Appeals Update (Franco-Signor, 7.24.2013): Humana, Inc. has filed lawsuits against the Farmers Group in the Eastern District of Tennessee, the District of Kansas, the Western District of Missouri and the Eastern District of Texas. The lawsuits allege deceptive trade practices and see conditional payment reimbursement, double damages and an accounting for all claims to discover missed reimbursements. A Humana victory could set the stage for a more aggressive posture against insurers in every line of coverage that may have Medicare Secondary Payer obligations. Links to the lawsuits are available in the blog posting.


Zip Codes Are Private (Litigation News, 5/28/2013): Massachusetts has joined California in viewing zip codes as protected private information. Although this trend has not reached most states, pools may want to include in their privacy training a caution about protecting zip codes the same as other components of an address.


Number of Hail Damage Insurance Claims Up 84% Since 2010 (Insurance Journal, 7/14/2013): Reflective of the increasing number of severe storms in the US, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that hail damage insurance claims increased 84% from 2010 to 2012. The top five states are Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma.

Distant Quakes Trigger Tremors at US Waste-injection Sites, Says Study (Science Newsline, 7/11/2013): Pools located in states with high levels of fracking may be exposed to earthquake losses triggered by major earthquakes across the globe. A study published in the journal Science concludes that earthquakes in faults stressed by fracking can be triggered by the shock waves that travel around the globe in a major seismic event.


The Myth of Free Use of Social Media Content (Mondaq, 7/19/2013): Pools that train their members about social media and intellectual property issues may want to discuss how intellectual property rights attach to material posted on social media. Those who post or tweet photographs and comments still have a copyright in the material even if they disseminate it broadly through social media. Members should be certain not to harvest material from social media and reuse it for other purposes without the apparent owner’s permission.


N.J. Gov. Vetoes WC Bill Aimed at Emergency Workers, Citing Lack of Balance (Property Casualty 360, 7/22/2013): Governor Chris Christie vetoed a public safety workers’ compensation presumption bill that was passed by the New Jersey legislature. The bill would have been extremely broad and rebuttal would have required “clear and convincing evidence”. In vetoing the bill, Christie cited the existence of a balanced system that ensures compensation of these workers. The statutory language can be accessed here.

Workers' Comp Insurance Rate Increases Buoy Revenue Growth (Fitch Wire, 7/10/2013): Workers’ compensation pricing levels have increased for the past two years and there is little sign of imminent reversal in the trend.


Property Inspector - Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust:  Property Inspector for non-profit self-insurance pool for RI local governments. Provide detailed loss prevention inspections, identify potential hazards and design preventive programs. Extensive field work. Knowledge of governmental risks and OSHA Construction Standards. Undergraduate degree in insurance or risk management preferred. Professional certifications/designations (ARM, NFPA, OSHA) desired. 3-5 years field experience. Proficiency in Microsoft Office. Salary commensurate with education and experience; excellent fringe benefits. Resume ASAP to Brian T. Ahern, Director of Risk Management Services, RI Interlocal Risk Management Trust, 501 Wampanoag Trail, Suite 301, East Providence, RI 02915; by fax to 401-438-6990; by email to propertyinspector@ritrust.com.


2013 NLC-RISC Staff Conference (October 21-23, 2013 at The Nines in Portland, Oregon): The NLC-RISC Staff Conference Provides staff of state municipal league-sponsored risk pools with the opportunity to learn about trends, programs, services and best practices in a variety of coverage lines and functional areas, and offers a great opportunity to network with pool staff from across the country ~ all in a non-competitive, collaborative environment! Online hotel reservations are available here. Watch for addition details - preliminary agenda and conference registration - in the next week.

Southern Municipal Conference IT Meeting (October 16-18, 2013 in Columbia, South Carolina): The Southern Municipal Conference has sponsored the SMC IT meeting for 11 years. The group meets twice each year to share the IT experiences of each league and/or Risk pool. Presentations by IT experts on the latest hardware and software help keep the participants up to date on the cutting edge of technology. Registration for the SMC IT Group meeting is open to all State Municipal Leagues and League Risk Pools.


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