Tuesday, March 12, 2019

NFL Claims Admin Audit Power Questioned

A claims administrator implementing the $1 billion NFL concussion litigation settlement is fighting efforts to limit auditing former players’ claims multiple times. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the firm alleges it is not limited to auditing claims a single time to stop ineligible payments. Reportedly, the settlement agreement and audit rules adopted by the special master allow audit of claims at any time in the process, even after payment. They assert a need to re-evaluate a player and his claim in the audit process whenever questions about the legitimacy of a player’s claimed diagnosis arise. A group of thirty claims brought by the same counsel were put into a second audit. He contended that forcing the claims into multiple rounds of audits goes against the broader settlement agreement and damages his clients’ due process rights. Reasons for re-examination of claims given include switching doctors while claims were being audited, and eventually using a doctor who allegedly gave a high neurocognitive impairment diagnosis to a former player, while continuing to work as a corporate spokesman and host public events. It is feared the settlement program would attract unscrupulous persons if claims were investigated in limited scenarios. The NFL and co-class counsel for the players did not yet comment. See full story here-- https://bit.ly/2TMqxEX and NFL concussion site regarding some 20,532 claimants here-- https://bit.ly/2F7z78Y

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Condo ADR Bill in FL Legislature

The Florida Legislature began its session this week and there is already a bill out of drafting relating to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The act would amend Section 34.01, Florida Statutes, expanding the jurisdiction of county courts to include certain disputes occurring in condominium and cooperative associations. It would also amend Section 718.103, Florida Statutes, defining the term “condominium documents” and Section 718.112 conforming provisions to changes made by the act, requiring that a provision for mandatory mediation, rather than nonbinding arbitration, be included in association bylaws. The language also amends Section 718.117, revising how a unit owner or lienor may contest a plan of termination and amending Section 718.1255, revising the requirements for ADR in condominium associations and providing a form for the written demand an aggrieved party is required to serve on a responding party, as well as providing requirements for the service of a statutory demand to participate in presuit mediation and the response to such service. The legislation would provide requirements for mediators selected by the parties and that parties to equally share the costs of presuit mediation, while authorizing a mediator to require advance payment of fees and costs. Under the law, presuit mediation proceedings would be conducted in accordance with Chapter 44, Florida Statutes, in addition to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and authorize a representative from an association’s insurance carrier to attend presuit mediation conferences. The likely effective date would be July 1, 2019. Search for more here-- https://bit.ly/2VKtnHI