Tag: insurance

Food Companies Should Revisit Insurance Program and Other Risk Management in Light of Emerging Massive European Union E. coli Outbreak

The E. coli outbreak unraveling now in the European Union, centered primarily in Germany, is setting new records for both the number of affected persons and the number of persons diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a serious complication from E. coli infection (HUS can lead to kidney failure, brain damage and death). As of … Continue Reading

More on FSMA and Food Safety Risk Avoidance

Thank you to Parker Smith & Feek for inviting me to speak to about FSMA and how it’s changing the status quo. My slide-deck can be viewed here. Following my talk, Marty Bask from Parker Smith & Feek led a very interesting discussion about the pros and cons of product recall and contamination coverage. A link … Continue Reading

What to Ask About Recall or Product Contamination Insurance Coverage

If they don’t already have it, I advise my clients to talk with their insurance broker about purchasing recall insurance (otherwise known as product contamination insurance) . For clients who have recall insurance, I advise them to make sure the policy provides the coverage they expect. Recall insurance is a different animal than other policies … Continue Reading

Insurer Says Coverage for HVP Recall “Limited or Precluded”

Employers Fire Insurance Company has brought a declaratory relief action against Basic Food Flavors, Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. Employers Fire says in its complaint that its policy "contain[s] certain terms, provisions, limits, conditions, exclusions and endorsements that limit or preclude coverage to Basic Food with respect to … Continue Reading

Take-Aways from November 17 Webinar: Sustainable Foods Increase Litigation Risks: Developing Strategies to Minimize Exposure

On November 17, we held our final webinar in a three-part series on bringing sustainable food products to market. Take-aways from the third webinar include: • Be aware that "natural" is a hot button when advertising and labeling sustainable food products. • "Sustainable" is not addressed in FTC Green Guides so it is imperative to … Continue Reading

Tomorrow’s (11/17) Webinar on Mitigating the Legal Risks of Sustainable Food Products

Please join me, Steve Marinkovich from Propel Insurance, my colleague at Stoel Rives, Anne Glazer, and Peter Truitt, CEO of Truitt Bros., Inc. tomorrow, November 17, at 9 am PST, noon EST, (live Twitter feed at #sustainlaw) for the last webinar in our 3-part series on Bringing Sustainable Food Products To Market.  Register here. We will discuss (and … Continue Reading

Learn About Who Is Setting Sustainability Standards and How to Make Good Sustainability Claims: Register for the 11/3 Sustainable Foods Webinar

If you haven’t already, register here for the second in a three-part webinar series on environmentally friendly sustainable food products, to be held at 9 am PT, Tuesday, November 3. This installment of the series will focus on sustainability standards, third-party certification and avoidance of “green-washing.” The webinar will feature: FDA regulatory lawyer Ricardo Carvajal from … Continue Reading

Comment On Recent New York Times E. Coli and Beef Article: How Retailers Can Protect Themselves

Co-Authored By Guest Blogger Scott Hansen According to its website, last Sunday’s New York Times article on E. coli and beef is among the most widely read pieces published by the newspaper this week. The article tells the story of a 22-year-old Minnesota dance instructor who was left paralyzed after being infected with a strain of E. … Continue Reading

Environmentally Sustainable Foods: Dispelling Fear and Understanding That Sustainability Must Be Good for Business

Stoel Rives is proud to sponsor an upcoming webinar series on legal and business aspects of bringing sustainable food products to market. Industry representatives will talk among other things about what sustainable food products are, help dispel the fears of traditional food companies, discuss strategies for minimizing business and litigation risks, and underscore the importance of sustainable foods … Continue Reading

Litigation and Insurance Coverage Risks from Swine Flu (H1N1)

For food companies (and other businesses), a dangerous and deadly flu pandemic (e.g., H1N1) can be a business disaster. Adding insult to injury is personal injury litigation and the accompanying insurance coverage nightmares that follow. What Are the Personal Injury Litigation Risks? For restaurants, airlines, cruiselines, supermarkets, hospitals, schools, and other institutions, risk comes from … Continue Reading

Before the Outbreak, Preapprove Defense Counsel with Insurer

When a food-borne illness outbreak happens, few food companies (especially those whose brand is at stake) want an unfamiliar defense lawyer who has little knowledge about food-borne illness responding to claims asserted against them. Unless a food company maintains a high, self-insured retention or has the lawyer of its choosing preselected, its insurer might appoint … Continue Reading

Tort Damages Not the Only Exposure from Food-Borne Illness Outbreaks

For lawyers and insurance adjustors, compartmentalizing food-borne illness claims is easy. They often see their jobs solely as minimizing the tort liability and legal fees. In my experience, attorneys and adjustors often fail to appreciate how outbreaks can affect a client’s (or even a whole industry’s) business going forward. Often, the long-term business losses of a … Continue Reading

Liability Limits: How Much Should Your Food Company Maintain?

Food business clients frequently want to ensure that they have sufficient liability limits in the event of an outbreak (they also want to make sure they have adequate coverage, but this is a separate discussion). Determining the amount of a business’s limits depends on the business’s possible exposures. No one-size-fits-all formula is available. Every business … Continue Reading

More on Reducing the Risk of Failure – Focus on Shifting Liability For Consumer Claims

Food Safety Magazine ran an interesting piece by Aaron Krauss titled “Reducing the Risk of Failure.”  The article was part of the magazine’s focus on limiting liability for food companies.  Mr. Krauss includes a good discussion of the pros and cons of indemnities and disclaimers of warranty and liability as ways to shift or reduce … Continue Reading

Tips For Successful Multiparty Food Liability Mediation

Mediation has become a critical process for resolving large, multi-party consumer claims. Settlement of these claims is often complicated by insurance and third-party recovery. Often a brokered process is the only practical way to get to a meeting of the minds. Yet, in my experience mediations that can succeed fail because of the lawyers and mediators. Having been … Continue Reading

A Reminder To Review Insurance

Law 360 has an article up this week titled “Coverage May Be Tricky For Food Recalls.” I am among the lawyers quoted in the article. For me, the takeaway is that any food company should have in place a strong team of insurance coverage counsel and brokers. Food companies need to ensure that they have in … Continue Reading

PCA Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Peanut Corporation of America has filed for Chapter 7 liquidiation under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the Western District of Virginia. It claims its secured debt exceeds its assets, which means that persons harmed by salmonella in its peanut butter may only be able to collect to the extent of any insurance.… Continue Reading

PCA Recall – Insurance Lessons for Food Sellers

Bill Marler posted on his blog recently a complaint for declaratory relief filed by an insurer for Peanut Corporation of America (“PCA”). Mr. Marler comments, “Frankly, I read this suit several times and still do not see what the fight is about.” For those who represent commercial insureds in pursuing coverage from their insurers, the suit … Continue Reading

Five New Year’s Resolutions

Unfortunately, 2009 does not promise to be any easier than 2008 in protecting your business against food liability claims. Many argue that threats will only increase in the new year. Here are five things you can do to reduce exposure in the coming year: 1. Review Insurance Coverage and Limits Carefully – Both the variety and … Continue Reading

Preparation for Melamine Issues- Updating Crisis Management Plans and Insurance Coverage

While largely under the radar in the American press due to the compelling election cycle and historical meltdown in the financial markets, the news out of China concerning melamine has gone from bad to worse. Concern about Chinese dairies has morphed into a global crisis affecting what seems like an infinite number of products tainted … Continue Reading

Another Reminder Why Indemnification and Insurance Requirements Are Important

Last month, a state judge in Minnesota awarded summary judgment to a lettuce supplier of restaurants associated with an E. coli outbreak in 2006. The restaurant supplier brought suit against its suppliers. The suit appears to have been based at least in part on an indemnification agreement between Vistar (which delivered lettuce to restaurants) and … Continue Reading

“Organic Pathogens Exclusion”

Insurers are making efforts to exclude food-borne illness claims from coverage under comprehensive general liability (“CGL”) policies. The "Organic Pathogens Exclusion" is a good example. While a claim for food-borne illness may normally be covered by a CGL policy, if you have an organic pathogens exclusion, your insurer will not provide a defense and will … Continue Reading

Government Assistance for Rotten Tomatoes?

     I recently received a call from a reporter about legislation introduced by Representative Tim Mahoney (D-Fl), that would provide “emergency assistance to growers and first handlers of tomatoes.”  The text of the bill, HR 6581, as referred to the House Agriculture Committee reads as follows: SECTION 1. EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR GROWERS AND FIRST … Continue Reading

Good Time To Review Crisis Management Plans

Incredibly, the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak remains unsolved. First reported onset of illness date was April 10, yet the traceback is still not complete. Personal injury and economic damage claims await for the FDA and CDC to determine causation. Produce industry, particularly in Mexico, stands to suffer long lasting injury.  Whether or not your business stands … Continue Reading
LexBlog