To Opioids, COVID, and Beyond! Insurance Coverage and Other Tools to Abate the Nuisance Driving Social Inflation
Jodi Green, Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan LLP
Paige Houin, BatesCarey LLP
Sonia M. Valdes, Vice President Claims, Medmarc Insurance. Group
Although many factors drive social inflation, one key item in the plaintiffs’ toolbox is public nuisance. Driven in part by the multimillion-dollar settlements in the opioid litigation, the plaintiffs' bar is increasingly turning to public nuisance as a tool to propel nuclear verdicts and settlements. Plaintiffs in these cases seek to bypass the onerous causation requirements of traditional torts by seeking forward-looking funding for generalized public harm. Using opioids and COVID-19 litigation along with other case studies, this roundtable will engage the audience by allowing them to predict potential next wave nuisance causes of action as one factor causing social inflation. In turn, we will discuss how – despite nuclear verdicts arising from these claims – insurers are responding to these claims to abate that impact. In the context of actual case studies, we will discuss existing insurance coverage defenses to current nuisance claims, including whether damages are because of bodily injury, whether abatement remedies should be considered damages under a liability policy, as well as forward-looking options to temper the risk of exposure arising from public nuisance claims, including exclusionary endorsements and other underwriting considerations.
3-D Printing Medical Devices and the Disruption of Product Liability Law and Regulation
Nicholas Benetatos, Exponent
Lauren Hulbert, Senior Claims Examiner, Medmarc Insurance Group
Daniel Tranen, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Use of 3-D printing technology is growing around the world in many fields. It is already a billion dollar industry in the manufacture of medical devices. Join the discussion about how this new technology, when used to make medical devices in point-of-care settings like hospitals, will disrupt the use of standard strict liability product claims when a defective device is made. Also for consideration is that the traditional role of the FDA in regulating medical devices will be disrupted since point-of-care manufacturing eliminates the need for clearance to sell medical devices. The concepts of what is a product, what is a product design, and what constitutes manufacture of a product will all need to be reconsidered with the use of this new technology.