Annual Partners in Education Recognition Breakfast
At the 2012 Partners in Education adopters recognition breakfast, David Pharr made remarks on behalf of the Greater Jackson Chamber. Also making remarks were Superintendent Cedrick Gray and Mayor Harvey Johnson, Jr. Partners in Education recognized businesses and organizations for their service to individual schools.
David K. Pharr Receives 2011 Trailblazer Award for Museum to Market Trail Project
The Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership’s 2011 Annual Meeting honored David K. Pharr and Dr. Clay Hays with the 2011 Trailblazer Awards for their hard work and dedication on the Bicycle-Pedestrian Trail Project. The recipients worked with area mayors, community organizations, and transportation officials, to refine and promote trail projects and help secure more than $3 million in funding for trails in Greater Jackson. The Museum to Market Trail, Jackson’s first rails-to-trails development, will connect the downtown Mississippi Farmer’s Market to two of the most popular museums in the state, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and Mississippi Children’s Museum at LeFleur’s Bluff State Park. The trail will follow the historic GM&O rail line for 2.5 miles along the eastern border of the Belhaven and Belhaven Heights neighborhoods.
Protecting Insurance Coverage Immediately After a Disaster
Racked by tornadoes and the flooding Mississippi River, southern states have recently sustained billions of dollars in property and business income losses with more to come as the Mississippi River crests. Insured property damage and business interruption losses resulting from the April tornadoes and violent storms alone are estimated at $3.7 billion to $5.5 billion. Hundreds of millions of dollars in additional losses are expected if the Mississippi River breaks record levels set in 1927, when flooding displaced 600,000 people and caused nearly $624 million in damages (in today’s dollars).
Many businesses and individuals may have purchased insurance policies that insure some or all of these losses. Potential insureds should act now to protect the value of any insurance coverage available for property and business income losses.
Collect and Review Available Insurance Coverage
Property owners should locate a copy of all potentially responsive policies, including primary, umbrella, and excess property policies and review them for available coverage. If you anticipate evacuating your home or business due to the rising Mississippi River, ensure that you take your insurance policies with you. If you cannot locate your policies or they are destroyed, request that your broker provide you with a copy.
Notify All Insurers
Carefully read your policies’ notice provisions and comply with them. Most policies require prompt notice “as soon as practicable” or “as soon as possible” after a loss. You should immediately call your insurers and/or your broker, but also follow up with prompt written notice to your insurers at the address designated in each policy. Include your name, policy number, and the date of the loss.
Protect Your Property
Take any immediate reasonable steps available to protect your property. Ask your insurer if it will send an emergency response team to assist you with emergency mitigation measures. Unless your property is totally destroyed, you may take reasonable mitigation steps to prevent further damage to your property.
Document the Property Damage or Loss
Photograph the damaged property, both real and personal, as soon after the loss as it is safe to do so. If possible, videotape the entire scene to establish evidence of your loss. To the extent that you cannot document the damage, you may need to use other sources of evidence, such as bank or credit card records, to establish the extent of your loss. You will also need to provide an inventory of damaged property to support your claim. Keep receipts for all expenses related to your loss, including expenses incurred in mitigating the damage, as well as additional living expenses if you are forced to relocate. If you are anticipating rising Mississippi floodwaters, videotape your property before the waters arrive to support your claim.
Comply with Your Policies’ Requirements and Deadlines
In addition to requiring prompt notice, your policies may impose specific deadlines (e.g., 30 days notice of certain events). Insurers can argue that failure to comply with these deadlines forfeits coverage, so strict compliance is critical. Your policies may also require insurer advance approval for certain expenses; insurers can argue that failure to obtain advance consent waives coverage for the particular expense in question. Some policies, particularly commercial property policies, require insureds to submit proofs of loss within a relatively short time period (sometimes in as little as 30 days). Your insurer may grant an extension, but you should obtain any extension in writing.
Cooperate with Your Insurers
Your insurers should send a claims adjustor to your property to assess the loss and recommend a disposition of your claim. Be courteous, provide access to the property, and let the claims adjustor do his or her job, which is assessing the nature of your property damage and making a coverage recommendation to the insurer. Do not characterize the nature of your claim until an attorney reviews your policy and advises you on the availability of coverage. Do not agree to provide a written statement until you have consulted with an attorney.
Document Communications with Your Insurers and/or Broker
Keep notes of your oral communications with your insurance company, agent, and/or broker. Note the date and times of conversations, the subject, and any positions regarding coverage. Be mindful that your communications with your broker and/or insurer may not be privileged in any resulting litigation.
Avoid Releasing Your Claim
If your insurer sends you advance payments, confirm that the check does not include any language suggesting full payment or full satisfaction of your claim. In certain jurisdictions, depositing such a check could waive the remainder of your claim.
Seek Legal Advice
Like Hurricane Katrina claims, the insurance claims arising from the recent tornadoes and Mississippi River floodwaters will be complex. Coverage will depend on nuances in policy wording as well as governing state law, which may differ from state to state. Seek an independent assessment of the availability of coverage from an attorney experienced in insurance coverage issues so that you can best be positioned to support your claim for coverage.
David Pharr Quoted in PropertyCasualty360 Conflicting Rulings On Defects Leave Looming Questions Over Drywall Claims PropertyCasualty360
A bewildering 12 months of state and federal court rulings have further complicated the insurance and liability landscape for homebuilders and contractors facing homeowners’ Chinese drywall damage claims, attorneys and brokers say.
Nine state and federal courts and one state legislature over the past year have addressed whether a construction defect—a defective product or faulty workmanship—is fortuitous and therefore an occurrence under the commercial general liability insurance policy.
David Pharr Selected for Jackson, MS Portico 10
Portico Jackson, a Mississippi magazine, featured partner David Pharr and associate Michael Bentley in its first annual Portico 10. The Portico 10 is a group of attorneys selected by a panel of judges based on the following criteria: accomplishments while practicing, community involvement, education, special awards received while practicing, and notable cases.
Three BABC Attorneys Published in the ABA’s “The Reference Handbook on the Comprehensive General Liability Policy”
David Pharr, Alex Purvis, and Katie Suttle Weinert co-authored Chapter 2: Who is The Insured? in the American Bar Association’s “The Reference Handbook on the Comprehensive General Liability Policy”.
The first critical issue in any coverage analysis is whether the person seeking coverage is afforded coverage by the policy. Under the standard commercial general liability (CGL) policy, there are two main types of insureds: named insureds and additional insureds. Named insureds are insureds that are named in the declarations page of the CGL policy and further defined in Section II. Additional insureds are insureds that are not named in the declarations page of the policy, but that are afforded coverage under the policy usually by way of endorsement.
Reprinted with permission by the American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Section (TIPS), Copyright 2010.
Two Bradley Arant Boult Cummings Attorneys Named to Mississippi Secretary of State Study Group on Technology and IP
David K. Pharr was named to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Technology and Intellectual Property Study Group.
The group, formed by the Policy & Research Division of the Secretary of State’s office, is tasked with studying Mississippi law regarding technology and intellectual property, making recommendations to the legislature, formulating the recommendations into proposed legislation, and reviewing proposals with members of the legislature. In particular, the group will be asked to consider possible revisions to the Mississippi Uniform Trade Secrets Act concerning the adoption of a right to publicity statute, whether and how to adopt incentives to attract technology companies to the state, and whether to adopt legislation regarding electronic transactions and software contracts.
David Pharr Spoke at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce
Representatives of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce presented a check for $106,041.41 to the Jackson Police Foundation for repairs to the Jackson Police Training Academy. The money was raised at a dinner and tribute to legendary Jackson businessman, Leland Speed. David Pharr made remarks on behalf of the Chamber at the event.
David Pharr Participated in the 18th Annual Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Mid-year Program
At the mid-year meeting and CLE of the American Bar Association’s TIPS-Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, David Pharr prepared and moderated a panel discussion on insurance coverage and claims arising from high seas piracy. The panel consisted of a broker, underwriter, and counsel that work extensively on insurance issues related to piracy events in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. On the first day of the meeting, Pharr presented a toolbox lunch session about recent authorities governing stipulated liability judgments and insurance policy garnishment proceedings.