May 2013 Newsletters
WEST FERTILIZER COMPANY EXPLOSION IN TEXAS: The Importance of NFPA 921 in Fire and Explosion Subrogation
On April 17, 2013, a fire of as-of-yet-undetermined origin at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas ignited as much as 270 tons of ammonium nitrate being stored at the facility. As we gather and prepare experts for the long investigation and litigation to follow, we are reminded of the importance of preserving evidence, avoiding and preventing spoliation, and selecting the appropriate experts whose investigation and opinions must comply with NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, or face the risk of being excluded at trial.
TEXAS LAW LIMITS HEALTH SUBROGATION: H.B. 1869 Enacts New Chapter 140 In Response To Fortis Benefits
We have long known that Democrats, financially-fueled by the trial lawyers’ lobby, are no fans of subrogation. Surprisingly, even Republicans continue to battle the subrogation bogeyman, an indication that subrogation education and lobbying of our legislators should be a priority in our industry. The most recent example is in Texas, where Republican legislators sponsored, and the Republican governor is about to sign, H.B. 1869, which creates a brand new Chapter 140 in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. The new law becomes effective January 1, 2014 and it applies to insurance companies and health plans seeking reimbursement from third-party recoveries.
SALES AND USE TAXES ON SUBROGATION SERVICES: Navigating The Sales Tax Maze In South Dakota, New Mexico, And Hawaii
As a means of raising revenue, particularly during times of economic crisis, a handful of states employ, and many states repeatedly revisit, the dubious and counter-productive scheme of imposing a tax on professional services, whether as a sales tax (including lifting an exemption in many states’ sales tax code for professional services), use tax, excise tax, gross receipts tax or as a new form of fee applicable only to professional service providers.