December 2015 Subrogation Newsletter
With holiday shopping in full swing and Christmas a week away, there are growing concerns over the safety of one of the season’s hottest items – hoverboards. Reportedly, eBay sold 5,000 units on Black Friday and claims to have sold one hoverboard every 12 seconds on Cyber Monday. A rash of disastrous fires connected to hoverboard defects has now led governmental agencies to action and has caused some of the world’s largest internet retailers to ban all or some hoverboard sales, while other retailers may be choosing short-term sales over safety. Despite mounting scrutiny, tens of thousands of hoverboards are currently sitting neatly wrapped under Christmas trees across America waiting to be opened. The most likely result of hoverboard defects will be property claims under homeowner’s policies. Home insurers should be ready to effectively subrogate any and all hoverboard claims.
Every year in North America insurers pay out tens of millions of claim dollars resulting from fires and feed damage caused by the spontaneous combustion and heating of hay mow – a pile of hay stored in or near a barn. Spontaneous combustion is the result of a chemical reaction that occurs when combustible materials combine with oxygen, generating heat which eventually ignites the hay. Subrogation opportunities abound once you realize that the careless storage of hay can result in a catastrophic fire and that the wetter the hay, the more likely it is to start on fire.
Georgia Supreme Court Allows Employer Negligence To Reduce Employee's Recovery In Third-Party Actions
A new Georgia Supreme Court decision has made it easier to defend third-party tort actions involving injured employees by reducing the recoveries when employer negligence contributes the work-related injury. The effect of this ruling may have a profound impact on workers’ compensation subrogation cases involving employer negligence. An employer’s negligence will now be a factor in third-party cases.
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. (MWL) continues to grow. We are proud to announce the addition of Stephen A. Smith. Steve is an experienced litigator formerly with J. Peterman Legal Group, Ltd. (f/k/a Bloomer Peterman, S.C.) in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Steve is licensed in and admitted to practice in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and is admitted to practice in all federal courts in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Steve specializes in insurance litigation and subrogation, including automobile, property, workers’ compensation, and product liability. He brings an unusual breadth and depth of multi-state litigation and subrogation experience to the MWL table. Please join us in welcoming Steve to the firm.
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. would like to thank all our clients and local counsel for a wonderful year and we wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a blessed Holiday Season. Regardless of what Christmas means to you, we hope your Christmas is full of holiday cheer shared with family and friends. For us at Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C., Christmas is just the beginning – a simple, yet wonderful reminder of Christ’s humble beginning as a human child in this world. It’s only a beginning because His birth merely set the stage for the power, glory, and salvation that would be revealed in His life, death, and resurrection come Easter morning. An important part of the holiday season is remembering those who make the holidays meaningful to us. Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. would like to wish you and your family all the happiness and prosperity this Season can bring and may it follow you throughout the coming year!