Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, June 18

Jun 18, 2010


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XL Re Takes Advantage of Fla. Reduced Collateral Rule 

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said it has reached an agreement with a second reinsurer to participate in the state’s market under modified regulatory terms.


Florida Jury Gets Chinese Drywall Case

A jury in Florida is set to begin deliberations in a lawsuit over the damages owed to owners of a house built with defective Chinese drywall.


More drywall problems known in 2006 but kept secret

WCI Communities, a major Florida builder, and Banner Supply, a Miami-based distributor, knew about the problem in 2006

At least a half-dozen home builders, installers and environmental consultants knew as early as 2006 that foul smells were coming from drywall imported from China — but they did not share their early concerns with the public, even when homeowners began publicly complaining about the drywall in 2008.


Olympus Insurance:  All Regulatory Issues Are Resolved

Florida homeowners insurer Olympus Insurance Co. said it has resolved all the issues raised by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, which has vacated an order placed on the company in April.


Blog:  Jacksonville jury awards $2 million to woman against State Farm

A federal court jury in Jacksonville awarded a motorist $2 million this morning in her dispute with State Farm over uninsured motorist coverage.


$1B for Florida Medicaid in jeopardy

Extra Medicaid funding worth $1 billion to Florida is in jeopardy following a defeat in the U.S. Senate Wednesday on a procedural vote of 52 to 45, with all Republicans and 12 Democrats in opposition.


New Manatee County pain clinic rules allow for inspections

Permit applications due by July 8

County officials could make unannounced inspection of pain clinics in Manatee, according to a permit application that clinic owners will have to submit to the county by July 8 if they want to keep operating.


Governor Crist extends Florida oil spill state of emergency for 60 days

Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday extended his executive order that declares a state of emergency for several Florida counties, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota and Hernando counties, as a result of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


State decides not to renew Department of Community Affairs 

Lawmakers passed this year on renewing the state’s growth-management agency, raising fears among environmental groups that the Department of Community Affairs could be weakened in the 2011 session.


Florida Supreme Court:  Non-Resident Blogger Can Be Sued in Florida Over Defamation

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a non-resident blogger can be sued in the state for posting allegedly defamatory comments about a Florida company on her out-of-state Web site.


Florida Supreme Court rules commercial fishermen can sue polluters to recover losses

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that commercial fishermen can sue a phosphate company that polluted Tampa Bay in 2004 – a decision that could widen BP’s legal liability for oil that reaches state waters from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.


State website aggregates spill-related job opportunities

The state has launched a website that allows job seekers to locate and apply for positions created in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Florida company ready to set ‘bugs’ loose against oil

Executives of a firm that sells oil-eating bacteria say cleaning water is their business

A biotechnology company from Sarasota has pitched its oil-eating bacteria compound as nature’s housekeeper for cleanup duty in the Gulf of Mexico.


Florida lawmakers upset with GOP lawmaker over BP comments

Some Florida lawmakers weren’t exactly thrilled with a comment made by a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives.


Squatters Taking Over Abandoned Homes in Florida

Imagine going to a house or condo you own and finding a stranger living there who claims the property no longer belongs to you.


Both sides find something to like about Supreme Court decision on Florida beach

By a unanimous, 8-0 margin, the Supreme Court today decided a complicated case involving renourishment of a Florida beach, drawing close scrutiny from legal scholars and providing both left and right with something to cheer.


Whistleblowers allege FPL hid information from regulators

A group of Florida Power & Light whistle blowers sent a letter of complaint to the head of the utility company’s parent company this week, alleging the company hid information from regulators, fraudulently kept two sets of books, exaggerated its need for new generating plants and ”illegally and improperly used its resources at ratepayer expense.”


Blog:  PSC incumbents face 53 challengers

Fifty five applicants are vying for two open seats on the Public Service Commission, which is responsible for ensuring utility service is reliable, safe and affordable.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Charlie Crist Opposed to Gay Adoption Ban   

Gov. Charlie Crist clarified on Thursday that he thinks judges ought to be allowed to decide on a case by case basis whether gay couples can adopt children rather than continuing a statewide ban, the only one in the nation.


At candidate forum, Greene shows why he may be the wild card in Senate race

Like his good friend Mike Tyson, billionaire U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene came out swinging at a candidates’ forum Thursday.


Blog:  State Representative Patterson will not run against Senator Atwater for Florida CFO

State Rep. Pat Patterson didn’t file to run against Senate President Jeff Atwater in the GOP primary for chief financial officer. Patterson even appeared at the Tallahassee Tiger Bay club Thursday and stood up to say he was running for the seat. But at the last minute, he decided to run in his hometown of DeLand.


Florida Department of Children and Families under federal scrutiny over wages, hours

Long hounded by tales of underpaid and overworked employees, the Florida Department of Children and Families is once again under investigation for denying fair wages to its workers, the U.S. Labor Department confirmed Thursday.


Senate Again Rejects Bill Containing Flood Insurance Program Restart

The U.S. Senate yesterday again voted down a legislative package on jobless benefits, Medicare payments to doctors and business tax breaks that also contains reauthorization of the nation’s flood insurance program.


Four trial dates set in Virginia Chinese drywall cases

A circuit court judge overseeing scores of local lawsuits involving the use of Chinese-made drywall on Wednesday scheduled the first trial involving four homeowners to begin in January.


Connecticut Warns Agents over Surplus Lines Placements

The Connecticut Insurance Department is warning producers against placing coastal homeowners in the surplus lines market if an admitted insurer has offered to renew their policies.


New York Agents Urge Defeat of Auto Insurance Reform Bills

A trade group for New York agents is urging lawmakers to defeat a bill it says would weaken the state’s no-fault auto insurance system by expanding juries’ role in deciding whether a lawsuit can proceed.


Annuity Guarantee Filings Can Now Speed Up

The Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission says insurers now can file annuities with guaranteed benefits through the commission’s speed-to-market process.


Primary Nears for Republicans Running for Georgia Insurance Post

A crowded field of candidates is battling it out to become the state’s next insurance commissioner, with several vowing to fight the new federal health care law.


RIMS hails Homeland Security OK on private-sector emergency preparedness standards

The Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. is praising the Department of Homeland Security’s adoption of final private-sector emergency preparedness standards.



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