Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, June 3

Jun 3, 2010

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Destin-area woman files class-action suit against BP, Halliburton and others over oil spill

A Destin-area woman filed suit in USDC Middle District Court on Monday against BP, Haliburton and Transocean (among others), alleging that the oil spill will cost her thousands of dollars in lost vacation-rental income.


Fishery disaster declared in Florida in wake of Gulf oil spill

The U.S. Commerce secretary has declared a fishery disaster in Florida because of the Gulf oil spill, adding the state to the emergency already in effect in three other states.


Attorneys seek release of records in Miami-Dade drywall cases

A Miami-Dade circuit court judge heard arguments Wednesday for unsealing Chinese drywall-related documents that could shed more light on what was known in 2006 about problems with the drywall.


‘Panic,’ then silence over suspicious Chinese drywall

Letters and e-mails show that builders, suppliers, contractors and others raised red flags about drywall imported from China nearly four years ago, but none of them disclosed their concerns to the public.


Winter Haven apartment residents face move over Chinese drywall

Potentially toxic drywall used in 400 units in Phase II section of Winter Haven apartment complex

The discovery of Chinese drywall in 400 units of the Phase II section of Carlton Arms of Winter Haven will force scores of apartment dwellers to leave their homes – at least temporarily.


Florida’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund in Good Shape 

State fund has $14 billion but experts warn things could change fast

Florida will enter the 2010 hurricane season in the best financial shape it has been in years despite a sluggish economy that has been a drain on state and local coffers for the past three years.


Editorial:  Crist’s veto of SB 2044 doesn’t solve state’s insurance dilemma

Negotiate new reform bill before special session


Pain-clinic doctor to set rules?

Dr. Joel Rose, chairman of the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine, has appointed himself to a state panel that makes rules to control pain clinics, even though records show he works for at least three clinics that appear on the state registry.


Blog:  Charlie Crist demands another $50 million from BP for Florida cleanup

After another aerial tour of the oil slick washing closer to Florida, Gov. Charlie Crist sent a letter Thursday to BP America president Lamar McKay demanding $50 million more in cash to assist in the state’s cleanup efforts.


Son of late Gov. Chiles running for Florida governor

Lawton “Bud” Chiles III, the son of late Gov. Lawton Chiles, is making a late entry into the governor’s race.  Chiles announced Thursday that he plans to run for governor as an independent candidate.


Highlights from search warrant affidavit in case against ex-chair of GOP

Below is a summary of highlights from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement search warrant affidavit that led to the arrest of former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida Jim Greer.


CFO Sink Demands Answers from BP CEO Hayward, Attendance at Next Florida Cabinet Meeting

Florida CFO Alex Sink today sent a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward requesting his attendance at the next meeting of the Florida Cabinet Tuesday, June 8, to provide an explanation of BP’s plans to protect Florida’s economy and environment, and an update on BP’s compensation requests from Florida businesses.


Crist Signs Law To Protect Senior Citizens From Financial Scams

Gov. Charlie Crist has signed bills to crack down on financial scammers who target seniors and tighten oversight of the state’s pension fund.


Agriculture groups push for override of two Crist vetoes

The Florida Farm Bureau used an annual luncheon celebrating the state’s agriculture industry on Wednesday to officially urge Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul to push for an override of Gov. Charlie Crist’s recent vetoes of a pair of agriculture bills.


New condo law might not be panacea people expect

Condominium associations grappling with non-paying owners and foreclosures will get less financial benefit than expected from a state law that takes effect next month, an industry veteran said Wednesday.


Bill mandating cyclists use bike lanes is in Crist’s hands

Local bicycle and pedestrian advocates are joining like-minded residents statewide in urging Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a bill that would enable local government to allow the use of golf carts and scooters on sidewalks and would mandate bicyclists to use bike lanes when available.


Securities and Exchange Commission charges Miami man in $40 million Ponzi scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Miami man for conducting a $40 million Ponzi scheme with funds primarily raised from investors in the local Hispanic community to purportedly support jewelry businesses and pawn shops.


State Farm, Texas DOI Spar Over Homeowners Rate Hikes 

State Farm Insurance requests to hike Texas homeowners rates by over 13 percent have sparked an extended battle with the Texas Department of Insurance, which called the proposed hikes “excessive.”


Louisiana Insurance Commissioner:  Flood Insurance Will Cover Oil Damage, But Only to Buildings

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said June 2 that flood insurance will cover homes and businesses damaged by oily storm water.


Lousiana Bill Banning Insurance Cancellation Penalties Goes to Gov. Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Senate Bill 246, which would prohibit insurance companies from assessing monetary penalties on consumers who cancel their policies before they expire, has been approved by the House and Senate and sent to Governor Bobby Jindal.


S&P Warns P/C Insurers on Reserving Practices

Property/casualty insurers have turned to releasing significant amounts of reserves in the past couple of years, even as the underlying business conditions have deteriorated, but may have to slow this practice, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.


IAIS Rejects Solvency II as Not ‘Leading the Regulatory Field’

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) wrote May 14 to the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee to refute earlier comments by Peter Skinner, a member of the European Parliament, concerning Solvency II.


Georgia Governor Perdue signs bill against mandatory health insurance

Georgians won’t have to buy health insurance if they don’t want to, according to legislation Gov. Sonny Perdue signed into law Wednesday.


NAIC Needs More Time for Medical Loss Ratio Reform Guidelines

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) says it needs some more time to produce guidelines on medical loss ratios. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had asked the NAIC to submit them by June 1, even though the reform legislation calls for the guidelines to be in place by Dec. 31.


Court reverses own stance on timing of asbestos claim

A ruling by the 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals could make it more difficult for some asbestos injury claimants to pursue damages in cases involving bankruptcy.


New Jersey Unveils Captive Insurance Initiative

Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Tom Considine has announced the planned introduction of legislation in New Jersey, consisting of two bills that are intended to create a captive insurance market and to promote growth in the reinsurance market.


PIANY Disclosure Letter Gets State Regulator OK 

New York State regulators have approved an agent association’s disclosure statement that insurance agents and brokers can use to inform their clients about their compensation arrangements with carriers.


Timing of Georgia Insurance Chief’s Ethics Probe Stirs Controversy

An ethics activist is defending the State Ethics Commission’s decision to schedule a hearing involving GOP gubernatorial candidate and state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine less than a month before the crowded primary contest in which he is a front-runner.


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