A recent opinion out of the Georgia Court of Appeals is forcing insurers to choose their words carefully when seeking clarification regarding time-limited settlement demands. In Yim v. Carr, the Court of Appeals reversed a ruling that a defendant driver's insurer had accepted the plaintiff's time-limited demand for the policy's limits, holding instead that the insurer's request for clarification regarding the scope of the offer's release was not an "unequivocal acceptance" of the offer, but rather a counteroffer. The holding is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court of Georgia, but in the meantime, it is causing some hand-wringing among insurance representatives and the defense bar. ... Continue Reading
Large motor carriers and their workers' compensation insurers are not strangers to claims brought by contractor truck drivers claiming to be employees of the carrier. A type of contractor commonly seen in these cases is the "owner-operator", who Georgia law defines as "an equipment lessor who leases his vehicular equipment with a driver to a carrier." ... Continue Reading
The Art of Collaboration: Tips for Facilitating Collaboration Among In‐House, National, and Local Counsel in Multijurisdictional Litigation
We've all heard the adage that "the best defense is a good offense." The thought is that by being proactive, rather than passive or merely reactive, you will gain a strategic advantage over your opponent by forcing the opponent to be on the defense. This idea certainly rings true in all litigation, especially in mass tort, multijurisdictional, or serial litigation. ... Continue Reading
In 2012, the Georgia legislature enacted the Georgia Motor Carrier Act of 2012. One of the stated objectives of the Act was to transfer regulations of motor carriers and limousine carriers from the Georgia Public Service Commission to the Georgia Department of Public Safety. See O.C.G.A. 40-1-51. ... Continue Reading
Sleep Apnea: What Is It? Why Should You Be Concerned? And How Can You Defend Against A Claim That Your Driver's Sleep Apnea Caused The Accident?
The Greek term "apnea" literally means without breath. Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common of the two types of sleep apnea, is a syndrome characterized by sleep-disordered breathing that causes brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. Studies have linked driver fatigue resulting from sleep apnea to decreases in a driver's reaction time, information processing, and decision making. Studies funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") have found that almost one-third, or 28%, of tractor trailer drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea and that 7% of accidents caused by tractor trailer drivers resulted because the driver fell asleep behind the wheel. ... Continue Reading
The Journal is a publication for the clients of Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP. It is written in a general format and is not intended to be legal advice to any specific circumstance. Legal Opinions may vary when based upon subtle factual differences. All rights reserved.
H. Michael Bagley