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In the past, the technology industry largely steered clear of the nation’s capital.  Recently, however, the political playing field has grown to include some of the biggest, well-known Silicon Valley technology companies—and they are willing and able to pay the price to protect their interests on both the federal and state level. Sean Parker, one of the founders of Napster has said, “I think we’re starting to come into a realization of our own power and of our own capability, not just as innovators and technology pioneers, but also in a political sense.”  Norimitsu Onishi, Tech Industry Flexes Muscle in California Race, The New York Times (Feb. 5, 2014). 

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Recently, a disgruntled former UPS employee, whose employment had been terminated, opened fire at the UPS facility in Alabama, killing two employees before killing himself.  Tragically, not a day seems to go by without some media report of gun violence in this country. While any level of gun violence, where innocent lives are taken, stirs contentious debate on the issue of the “right to bear arms,” gun violence at the workplace presents special challenges to employers aiming to prevent becoming a part of the statistic and the evening news.  The debate over who should carry guns and under what conditions or restrictions has created a platform for dialog concerning gun regulation and safety.  In response, many states have passed more comprehensive gun legislation, which may make it more difficult or easier for employers seeking to keep their workplace safe, depending on which side of the gun debate you are on.

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Carriers defending against asbestos claims—and possibly other long-tail claims such as those involving silica, benzene, and talc—would be wise to review the Keasbey case to identify strategies for limiting coverage.  Cont’l Cas. Co. v. Emp. Ins. Co. of Wausau, 871 N.Y.S.2d 48 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008) (Keasbey).  There, the court found that “one indisputable fact . . . to emerge from [the] medical evidence . . . is that actual injury . . . does not occur upon [initial] exposure to asbestos.”  Id. at 62.  This ruling, which has implications for trigger of coverage, nonproducts coverage, allocation, and corporate succession, has been underused by insurers litigating asbestos coverage issues, especially given that since the Keasbey trial, which was held in 2005, the medical evidence has become stronger that “bodily injury” does not occur at or soon after initial exposure.

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More turmoil for House GOP lawsuit against Obama  - Politico 10/30/2014
NHTSA Steps Up Inquiry Into Defective Takata Air Bags  - Bloomberg 10/30/2014
Health overhaul’s subsidies at Supreme Court  - The Boston Globe 10/30/2014
Small Firms Start to Drop Health Plans  - Wall Street Journal 10/30/2014
Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General  - New York Times 10/30/2014
Stan Lee Media Loses Bid for Comic Rights in 9th  - Courthouse News Service 10/30/2014
Virginia Supreme Court hears Yelp Internet speech case  - The Richmond Times-Dispatch 10/30/2014
Takata Non Grata: GM Recall Actions Shine By Comparison  - Forbes 10/30/2014
Sailors Can Sue Tepco in U.S. Over Radiation, Judge Says  - Bloomberg 10/30/2014
Lawyers fight program that lets the feds seize money  - Inside Counsel 10/30/2014
World Wrestling Sued for Brain Injuries  - Courthouse News Service 10/30/2014
EEOC sues Honeywell, says wellness program medical testing violates ADA  - ABA Journal 10/30/2014
Deutsche Bank is setting aside some $1.3 billion for Libor fines  - Inside Counsel 10/30/2014
Class Actions for Takata Air Bag Defects  - Courthouse News Service 10/30/2014
More Care Early On Equals Better Outcomes for Workers’ Comp Claims  - Claims Journal 10/30/2014
 

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