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Asbestos Claims & Litigation Forum

December 5th, 2013
in Insurance & Reinsurance, Litigation |


Complimentary Presentation from ACI’s last Asbestos Claims & Litigation Forum


To download all presentations from this conference : Click Here

Don’t miss ACI’s Asbestos Claims & Litigation Forum this January


Asbestos Claims & Litigation

Litigating Disability Insurance Claim

December 5th, 2013
in Insurance & Reinsurance, Legal Conferences, Litigation |

Complimentary Presentation from ACI’s last Litigating Disability Insurance Claim Conference

To download all presentations from this conference : Click Here


Don’t miss ACI’s 16th Annual Conference on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims this January

Litigating Disability Insurance Claims

ACI’s Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Forum on Cosmetics

December 3rd, 2013
in Legal Conferences, Litigation |

Cosmetics Legal Conference

When: Thursday, February 20 to Friday, February 21, 2014

Where: The Carlton Hotel, New York, NY

To Learn More, Visit: 

Industry News

China considers end to mandatory animal testing on cosmetics by Zhang Dayu, Published on CNN

Cosmetic companies and animal rights groups have welcomed a proposal by China to allow sales of some cosmetics without requiring them to be tested on animals.

Animal testing would no longer be mandatory for “non-specialized cosmetics”, including shampoo, soaps and certain skin products manufactured in China from June next year, according to a document posted on the website of the China Food and Drug Administration earlier this month… [ Read More ]

San Francisco Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Control Unit E. coli O157:H7 Burma Superstar 2013 Outbreak Investigation Report Out

November 7th, 2013
in Expert Guest Blog Entries, Food and Beverage, Legal Conferences |

Expert Guest Entry by Bill Marler, Originally Posted on Marler Blog 


Outbreak of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O157 Infection Associated with a Restaurant San Francisco County, California – August 2013

Between Friday, August 23 and Monday, August 26, 2013, the San Francisco Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Control Unit (SFDPH CDCU) received eight reports of laboratory- confirmed Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 infection in unrelated San Francisco residents. This number of reports represented a marked increase over the background incidence of E. coli O157 in San Francisco of less than 1 case per month. The eight reports were received from three clinical laboratories. Case-patient residences were geographically dispersed throughout San Francisco but suggested moderate to high socioeconomic status. CDCU initiated standard follow-up interviews with all case-patients.  While no common exposures or demographic characteristics were immediately apparent, cases tended to be younger, salad-eating, local-market shoppers.

On August 26, SFDPH requested assistance from the California Emerging Infections Program (CEIP), and an investigation was initiated to ascertain the source of infections and prevent further illnesses.  The California Department of Public Health Microbial Diseases Laboratory (MDL) was asked to prioritize Pulse-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) testing of E. coli isolates from San Francisco and the surrounding counties. On August 28, 2013, a Health Alert was sent to local clinicians notifying them of the observed increase in cases, recommending increased testing for symptomatic patients, reminding them of the reporting requirement, and requesting forwarding of E. coli O157 isolates to the SFDPH Public Health Laboratory.

Case-patients were re-interviewed with a detailed hypothesis-generating questionnaire. The hypothesis-generating questionnaire identified a common restaurant and dates of exposure: Burma Superstar restaurant on August 16 and 17.   On August 30, a joint press release was issued by SFDPH and Burma Superstar in order to inform the public and assist in case finding. A total of 22 confirmed and probable case-patients were identified. A case-control study and a dining group level cohort study were initiated to identify suspect food items.  A garlic noodle dish was strongly associated with illness, but   the specific ingredient causing disease was not identified. An environmental investigation resulted in recommendations for the restaurant that included improved hand washing and food handling, as well as a requirement for Food Safety training. Although the outbreak was self-limited, lessons learned from this response may improve SFDPH’s response to future similar events.

Related Events 


Food Borne Illness     Food and Beverage - legal conference


For a complete list of all Food & Beverage upcoming events: Click Here

For a list of past Food & Beverage conference proceedings: Click Here



Weekly Industry News – Employment Law

November 7th, 2013
in Employment & Benefits, Legal Conferences |

Employment Law – the latest on FMLA Liability, Dell’s illegal labor conditions in China, ERISA Claims and more.

Employers Should Be Aware Of The Risks Of Unexpected FMLA Liability by R. Michelle Tatum  Published on

Executive Summary:   While most companies are aware of the liability they may face if they violate the FMLA, a recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit serves as a reminder of just how important it is for employers to train human resources personnel, as well as managers and supervisors, on how to properly handle leave requests.  In Dawkins v. Fulton County Gov’t, (11th Cir. Sept. 30, 2013), an employee sought to bring a claim of FMLA retaliation based on a manager’s one word response of “Approved” to an e-mail requesting both emergency and FMLA leave, even though she did not comply with the employer’s medical certification requirements… [ Read  More ]


Dell’s China suppliers ‘break employment laws with illegal labour conditions’ by Radhika Sanghani Published on

Dell’s suppliers in China are exploiting workers by making them work up to 74 hours a week and hiring underage employees, according to a new report.

An undercover video from DanWatch and China Labor Watch shows employees at factories in the Chinese regions of Guangdong and Jiangsu working a monthly overtime of 52 to 136 hours and in peak seasons work 7 days a week. The staff, mainly students, live in dorms on-site but there is only one toilet for 55 workers and one shower room for 90 workers…. [ Read More ]

Supreme Court to Review Statute of Limitations for Denial of ERISA Claims by Yonaton Aronoff Published on

On Tuesday, October 15, 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case likely to have wide-ranging consequences for employers who offer employee benefit plans under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). The petitioner in the case is a former Wal-Mart employee who became permanently disabled. She filed a claim for long-term disability benefits under the employer’s benefit plan, which contains a three-year statute of limitations commencing on the date that proof of loss was required to be submitted under the plan… [ Read More ]

Another Whistleblower Bounty From The SEC by Steven J. Pearlman,  Daniel Saperstein Published on

On October 30, 2013, the SEC announced that it rendered a $150K award to an anonymous whistleblower whose tips allegedly helped thwart a scheme to defraud investors (click here for the Order). The bounty equals 30% of the proceeds the SEC collected in the enforcement action—the maximum percentage permitted… [ Read More ]

Related Events 


Employment Practices Liability Insurance      Wage & Hour      Privacy & Security - Legal Conference


For a complete list of all Employment & Benefits upcoming events: Click Here 

For a list of past Employment & Benefits conference proceedings: Click Here 


ACI’s 16th Annual Conference on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims

November 6th, 2013
in Insurance & Reinsurance, Legal Conferences, Litigation |

Disability Claims

When:Thursday, January 23 to Friday, January 24, 2014

Where: The Carlton Hotel, New York, NY

To Learn More: Click Here


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Industry News 


Social Security Disability Offsets in Disability Insurance Claims by Frankel & Newfield, Originally Posted on


Clients often ask why Long Term Disability Insurance companies are allowed to deduct their Social Security benefits from disability checks.

The history is complicated, but the answer is simple: most disability policies that are purchased through the workplace include a clause that the LTD benefits will be reduced by the amount of money paid by Social Security. This language can be found in a section of the policy often titled “Offsets” or “Other Income Benefits.” Social Security Disability is the primary offset, although there may be others; it all depends on the language contained with each policy.

If a disabled individual’s children receive Social Security, those funds will be considered for an offset as well, as they are counted as the household’s Social Security benefit… [ Read More ]



ACI’s Food Borne Illness Forum

October 24th, 2013
in Food and Beverage, Legal Conferences, Litigation |

Advanced Strategies for Defending and Managing High Profile Food Contamination Claims


Food Borne Illness

When: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where: Hilton San Francisco Financial District, San Francisco, CA

Learn More & Register,Visit:


Industry News


‘Unprecedented surge’ in food lawsuits is driven by plaintiffs’ lawyers and advocacy groups, not consumers, claims report by Elaine Watson

The number of consumer fraud class actions brought in federal court against food and beverage companies skyrocketed from 19 cases in 2008 to more than 100 in 2012, according to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR)*….[ Read More  ]


For a complete list of all Food & Beverage events: Click Here

For a list of past Food & Beverage conference proceedings: Click Here

ACI’s 18th Annual Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference

September 23rd, 2013
in Legal Conferences, Pharmaceuticals / Biotech / Life Sciences |

Drug and Medical Device Litigation


When:  December 9th -11th, 2013

Where: Marriott Marquis | New York City

Learn more & register:


Industry Related News 


Sanofi in $40 million settlement over obesity drug linked to suicidal thoughts posted on Reuters by  Jonathan Stempel

Sanofi SA has reached a $40 million settlement of a U.S. lawsuit accusing the French drugmaker of misleading investors about the safety of a weight loss pill that a U.S. regulatory panel linked to suicidal thoughts.The all-cash settlement was disclosed in a court filing on Thursday, and requires approval by U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan… [ Read More ]

ACI’s Advanced Forum on Patent Litigation

September 5th, 2013
in Litigation |

When:  Tuesday, December 10 to Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Where:  The Carlton Hotel, New York, New York

To Learn More & Register: Click Here

                                     Industry Related News

GAO says ‘patent trolls’ file only 20% of patent suits by  Chris O’Brien  From  The Seattle Time Originally published on 8/27/13

SAN FRANCISCO — One of Silicon Valley’s complaints is the rise of “patent trolls” and how they’re destroying innovation. Patent trolls are companies that don’t make anything but own numerous patents and use them to sue firms that make products. Tech companies have argued that patent trolls are responsible for a big surge in patent litigation… [ Read More ]

Governor Brown Proposes To Reform Proposition 65

May 9th, 2013
in Expert Guest Blog Entries, Healthcare, Litigation, Regulatory & Compliance |

Expert Article by Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. 

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today proposed reforms to strengthen and restore the intent of Proposition 65, a three decade old law enacted to protect Californians from harmful chemicals, that has been abused by some unscrupulous lawyers driven by profit rather than public health.

The administration, through the California Environmental Protection Agency, will work closely with the Legislature and stakeholders to revamp Proposition 65 by ending frivolous “shake-down” lawsuits, improving how the public is warned about dangerous chemicals and strengthening the scientific basis for warning levels.

“Proposition 65 is a good law that’s helped many people, but it’s being abused by unscrupulous lawyers,” said Governor Brown. “This is an effort to improve the law so it can do what it was intended to do – protect Californians from harmful chemicals.”The package of reforms will build on legislative efforts already underway, including a proposal to limit frivolous lawsuits.“Proposition 65 serves a vital public interest. It provides the public with information about carcinogens and toxins that may be present in the products we use in our everyday lives. But for Prop 65 to be effective, this information must be clearly stated and we need to work with the Legislature to prevent groups from exploiting or misconstruing this information for their own personal gain,” said California EPA Secretary Matt Rodriquez.

Voters approved Proposition 65 in 1986. The measure requires the Governor to annually publish a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. If a business in California sells a product containing chemicals listed by the state in excess of safe levels, the business must provide a clear warning to the public. Similar provisions apply to California workplaces.

The administration, stakeholders and the Legislature will discuss reforms to:
• Cap or limit attorney’s fees in Proposition 65 cases.
• Require stronger demonstration by plaintiffs that they have information to support claims before litigation begins.
• Require greater disclosure of plaintiff’s information.
• Set limits on the amount of money in an enforcement case that can go into settlement funds in lieu of penalties.
• Provide the State with the ability to adjust the level at which Proposition 65 warnings are needed for chemicals that cause reproductive harm.
• Require more useful information to the public on what they are being exposed to and how they can protect themselves.

While Proposition 65 has motivated businesses to eliminate or reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products, it is also abused by some lawyers, who bring nuisance lawsuits to extract settlements from businesses with little or no benefit to the public or the environment.

Under provisions of Proposition 65, a private attorney can bring a complaint against a business if the business knowingly exposes consumers to state-noticed chemicals.
Since 2008, nearly 2,000 complaints have been filed by these “citizen enforcers.”

In one case, Consumer Defense Group Action brought 45 Proposition 65 notices of violation against banks based on second-hand smoke near bank entrances or ATMs. The group claimed that the banks had failed to post warnings, and alleged that the banks controlled the behavior of smokers in those areas. In responding that there was no basis for the claim and misrepresentations within the notices, the Attorney General warned that the group’s notices could “constitute unlawful business practices.”

Governor Brown’s proposed reform follows a strong record of pursuing regulatory changes to improve the state’s business climate. Since taking office in 2011, the Governor has approved legislation to improve the workers’ compensation system, the regulatory and fee structure for the timber industry, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements and the facility inspection process for the life sciences industry. In addition to these legislative actions, Brown has established the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to help companies deal with regulatory “red tape.”

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