Tuesday, April 24, 2007

FDA Aware of E. Coli Threats But Does Nothing

The FDA knew of the contamination risks at the Georgia peanut butter plant and Calif. spinach farms that were involved in recent E. coli outbreaks. According to agency documents, officials only took limited steps to address the problems. The incidents show that the FDA is "incapable of adequately protecting the safety of the food supply." Elizabeth Williamson, Kansas City Star 04/23/2007 Read Article: Kansas City Star

Sunday, April 22, 2007

No Evacuation Plan for Hospitals: Negligence or Malpractice?

The Louisiana Supreme Court is considering a question that could shift hundreds of Katrina-related claims against hospitals away from the courts and redirect them to a state malpractice panel. Plaintiff attorney Laurence Best of New Orleans represents two men whose mother died at Methodist Memorial Hospital in the days following Hurricane Katrina. This case is the first of several hundred similar claims. Houma Courier,Associated Press, 04/12/2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Allstate Hurricane Trial: Policyholders Got Conflicting Information

Policyholder Robert Weiss, who sued Allstate Insurance Co. after his home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, pointed out that because hurricanes are wind and water, to exclude coverage of either one of those causes of damage is "ridiculous." One issue the trial explores is whether an engineering report produced by a consulting firm was altered to favor the insurers' position. Associated Press, New Orleans Times-Picayune 04/11/2007 Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Friday, April 20, 2007

Donelon Unware Dept. Approved Controversial Insurance Risk Model

Corporate Welfare - Gov't Cover-Up: Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said he was not aware that the controversial RMS 60 hurricane computer model had been approved for use in Louisiana. Donelon ordered insurers to temporarily stop using the RMS model that is known to allow insurers to show cause for higher rates. Donelon said he asked insurers that have had rate increases approved but not yet implemented to hold off using the storm model until Florida completes its review of the RMS product. Rebecca Mowbray, New Orleans Times-Picayune 04/20/2007 Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Legality of Donelon's Insurance Program Questioned

Corporate Welfare: The House Insurance Committee grilled state and insurance officials over whether a proposed grant of $100 million in state funds can legally be given to insurance companies. The plan, announced by Gov. Blanco and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, would provide up to $100 million in matching grants to insurers that would write new homeowners' business in Louisiana. Ed Anderson, New Orleans Times-Picayune 04/19/2007 Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Thursday, April 19, 2007

State Farm Ordered to Pay Largest Fine Ever in Louisiana

State Farm was ordered to pay $18 million to about 18,000 of its auto insurance policyholders and refund about $4.7 million in overpayments to customers, plus interest. The Louisiana Department of Insurance said this seems to be the largest fine ever paid by an insurer in the state of Louisiana. State Farm reportedly included no-fault wrecks when it calculated rates for new policies written between April 2003 and March 2006, a practice which is against Louisiana law. State Farm is in the process of contacting affected customers. Rebecca Mowbray, New Orleans Times-Picayune 04/18/2007 Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune