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April 2016




FMG Opens Raleigh Office and Welcomes Paul Derrick as Partner

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Accident at Wrigley Field and What that Means in the Insurance World

By: Jessica Samford

As “March Madness” comes to an end, many are gearing up for “America’s [original] Pastime”—baseball. The baseball stadiums themselves need to be ready for the new season and fans, and the iconic Wrigley Field has been undergoing some major construction during its offseason and is in in the middle of a four-year, four-phase plan known as the “1060 Project”  to expand and preserve the home of the Chicago Cubs.  Just weeks before the ballpark is to hold its first game of the season, it was reported that a subcontractor, a woman in her mid-thirties, was injured in an “accident” when metal piping fell on her while she was working on the basement level of the stadium.

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Disclose! Disclose! Disclose! Says the S.E.C. to a Municipal Advisor

By: Ze’eva Kushner Banks and John Goselin, II

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced its first ever enforcement proceeding for breach of fiduciary duty for municipal advisors created by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. On March 15, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission publicized a settlement with Central States Capital Markets, LLC, its CEO and two employees arising from a failure to disclose a conflict of interest created by the role of Central States’ employees in providing both municipal advisor services and underwriting services for the municipal entity client.

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“How Much is That Steak Bowl Really?” A Costly Reminder About Social Media Policies

By: Robert Krandel

On March 14, 2016, an Administrative Law Judge for the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Chipotle violated the National Labor Relations Act when it unlawfully forced an employee to delete negative tweets about the restaurant. The Chipotle employee, James Kennedy, worked at the Havertown, Pennsylvania Chipotle.  Kennedy posted derogatory tweets about Chipotle’s “cheap labor." He further tweeted, “crew members only make $8.50hr how much is that steak bowl really?”

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Firm and Attorney News 

Mike Lord and Brian Lake prevailed in an arbitration involving FMG’s client, a prominent Maryland architectural services firm, against a claim brought by a large governmental contractor and property developer/owner in a recent arbitration. This was a construction design case with alleged damages of over $900,000. The Arbitrator issued an award exonerating FMG’s client of any and all liability.                   

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Ben Mathis and Marty Heller won summary judgment in a  federal district court case alleging gender and disability discrimination, breach of contract and retaliation. The case was brought by a female health care professional against a national provider of medical personnel who contended her termination  was unlawful. In a 27-page decision, the court affirmed a prior recommendation of the magistrate judge and dismissed all claims.

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Sun Choy and Ali Sabzevari successfully obtained summary judgment  in a federal court case for a sheriff’s deputy on allegations of unlawful search, excessive force, and denial of medical care under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and negligence under state law based on the denial of medical care.  The Court found that the search was supported by a reasonable suspicion and authorized by a condition of probation.  The Court also agreed that the use of force was reasonable under the circumstances (as it was reasonable for the deputy to believe that his life and the lives of his fellow officers were at risk).

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Phil Savrin and Jessica Samford obtained summary judgment for an insurance broker who was sued for failure to procure insurance that would have covered a $2 million loss sustained by the insured.  The court agreed that the broker was not the insured’s agent during the underwriting process and could not be held responsible for the retail agent’s failure to consummate the transaction.    

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Neil Wilcove and Michael Hill successfully defended its insurance client in the appeal of a nearly half-million-dollar judgment, which included $275,214.79 owed in attorney’s fees, with interest.  CPD Plastering, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., No. S16C0586.  This was an action which sought indemnification on behalf of our client, who had contributed to the global settlement of an earlier suit.                      

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About Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP

Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP is a leading national litigation firm, serving clients through its practice groups in CGL and Business Liability, Commercial and Complex Litigation, Construction and Design Law, Financial Services and Transactions, Government Law, Government Relations, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith, Labor and Employment Law, and Professional Liability. With offices in Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Florida, FMG attorneys serve as trusted counsel to corporations and governments throughout the country, providing practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for legal issues. For more information about FMG, visit www.fmglaw.com.




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