Insurance Blunder Costs Newest Philadelphia Eagles’ QB $11.5 Million

Quarterback Matt Barkley was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 98th pick in the 2013 NFL draft. He was the fourth quarterback selected and was the first selection in the fourth round. History suggests that he will sign a four-year contract worth about $2.5 million. Sure, that’s a lot of dough, but not nearly what Barkley would have earned had he foregone his senior season at USC and entered the NFL draft in 2012. As a projected top-10 pick last year, Barkley would have made a minimum of $12 million guaranteed. His only guaranteed pay this year could be a signing bonus in the $500,000 range. Interesting reading, for some, but why does Professional Liability Matters care? Because Barkley could have purchased “draft insurance” last year which could have saved him millions.
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Former New Jersey Governor Sued for “Grossly Negligent” Conduct

Former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and other executives from MF Global were recently sued over the 2011 collapse of the commodity trading firm. In the suit, the bankruptcy trustee claims Corzine and others caused the firm to fail through a risky trading strategy and “grossly negligent” oversight. Corzine allegedly was aware that the trades were high risk, but failed to implement proper policies to protect the firm. In particular, the lawsuit contends Corzine breached his duties to the shareholders of MF Global and failed to act in good faith, allegedly causing the firm losses in excess of $1 billion. Corzine has vehemently denied the allegations and characterized the lawsuit as “a clear case of Monday Morning quarterbacking.”
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Lawsuits Targeting America’s Wealthiest

A high percentage of the wealthiest Americans believe that they are more likely to be the subject of a lawsuit today than they were before the financial crisis. The issue of disparity of wealth, income and taxation has intensified these fears that their wealth can attract lawsuits. These concerns are reportedly legitimate, because under the widely accepted doctrine of joint and several liability, if more than one defendant is responsible for a plaintiff’s injury, any of the defendants may be held responsible for the entire damage award. The result is that the plaintiff may focus the attack on the deepest pocket. Much of this analysis may not come as a surprise but people of means frequently underestimate the potential cost of a lawsuit and misunderstand the affordability of effective protection.
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Recent Decision: It’s Okay to Reach Your Next Client Via Text?

Marketing is a must for all professionals. The quality of a professional’s skills may be wasted unless marketed to, and utilized by, would-be clients. Thus, professionals strive for efficiency in targeting an audience but those efforts are tempered by ethical considerations in advertising. However, solicitation just got considerably easier for attorneys in Ohio who may now reach potential clients via text.
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You’ve Just Been Hacked, Now What?

All professionals utilize computers in the workplace. These devices are a must for providing professional services, meeting customer needs, marketing, billing functions and countless other tools available to professionals through the use of computer equipment. Make no mistake, however, the very equipment that is so crucial to your business is under cyber-attack and is constantly at risk of a virus or hack. Yet, inexplicably, 25% of all computers worldwide are not adequately protected. Professionals cannot afford to be a victim of cyber-liability.
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When in Doubt Report, Report, Report…

It’s bound to happen…professionals make mistakes. Some of those mistakes may lead to a professional malpractice claim while others may go unnoticed, never to be heard of again. Given that most professionals cannot predict the future nor speak for their clients, professionals must timely report each mistake to her malpractice carrier pursuant to the applicable reporting deadlines because the policy may require it. Even those mistakes that seem inconsequential must be reported. The risks of failing to do so can prove to be costly.
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Dentist Facing Criminal Charges for Exposing Thousands to HIV

As if the fear of a dentist’s chair wasn’t already bad enough… The Tulsa Health Department recently warned thousands of patients of a local dentist that they may have contracted HIV, hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C due to poorly cleaned dental instruments. Of the 3,122 patients tested thus far, 57 tested positive for hepatitis C, three tested positive for hepatitis B, and at least one person tested positive for HIV according to recent reports. The cause? Dr. W. Scott Harrington allegedly re-used needles and used rusty instruments on patients with known infectious diseases, which could have put many at risk, according to a complaint filed by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry.
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Up-tick in Housing Market Means Increased Risk

The good news is that April typically marks the busy season for home sales and the housing market continues to gather strength. The bad news is that increased activity may mean additional professional liability risks face architects and engineers, designers, agents, inspectors and all real estate professionals. With all signs suggesting that the housing market is picking up momentum, and that trend is expected to continue, real estate professionals will find themselves with more work but they must proceed with caution.
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A Gap in the Professional Liability Insurance Marketplace?

Is “tailor-made” coverage for emerging industries the future of professional liability insurance? “Traditional professional liability” policies, which typically serve lawyers, accountants, architects, brokers and doctors, may no longer provide the precise fit for evolving professionals. “Whether their clients are consultants, nurse’s aides or chicken sexers, many producers have found a gap in the professional liability marketplace,” according to the Insurance Journal. Coverage has not always kept pace with occupational changes, leaving many professionals pushing for an insurance product that addresses the biggest industry-specific exposures. So-called “tailor-made” policies may fill this gap.
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The Risks of Online Consultation

We’re inundated with online advice, whether solicited or not. Many of us utilize various online sources to obtain quick answers without live, in-person consultation from a licensed professional. WebMD is the classic example of such a site but there are countless others devoted to providing professional advice to an unknown audience. We previously warned of the malpractice and ethical risks of providing online professional services when we posted about the lawsuit filed against Dr. Oz following his infamous “sleep aid solution.” To combat these risks, some jurisdictions regulate the use of online services for various classes of professionals. Such regulations were brought to the test when an internet savvy veterinarian recently filed suit against a Texas regulatory board for suspending his license.
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