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Policyholders entitled to coverage despite insurers' refusal to settle

Published July 23, 2015 CST

Pennsylvania policyholders are entitled to coverage if they settle a case without their insurer's consent when the insurer is providing defense under a reservation of rights, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled.

EEOC continues to press employer over its wellness program

Published July 22, 2015 CST

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is not backing down from its lawsuit challenging a Baraboo, Wisconsin-based employer's use of health risk assessments and biometric screenings in its wellness program.

Mediation ruled first step in cyber coverage case

Published July 22, 2015 CST

Policyholders scored a victory in a closely-watched cyber coverage case, in which a U.S federal court in Los Angeles dismissed a case filed by an insurer seeking to deny coverage.

Employer fallout uncertain from Anthem's purchase of Cigna

Published July 24, 2015 CST

Anthem Inc.'s purchase of Cigna Corp.—the biggest deal, by far, in the health insurance industry — poses rewards and risks for employers, health care benefits experts say.

Drug agency informants reap millions in federal comp benefits

Published July 22, 2015 CST

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been using federal workers comp benefits to pay informants for about 40 years without the appropriate oversight, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Wendy's employee cribbing daughter's ID arrested for workers comp fraud

Published July 23, 2015 CST

An injured Wendy's restaurant employee claiming to be her own daughter has been arrested for workers compensation fraud among other felony charges, the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation Enforcement Division said.

Anthem set to announce deal for Cigna this week: Sources

Published July 23, 2015 CST

(Reuters) — U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc. is close to finalizing negotiations to acquire peer Cigna Inc. and could announce a roughly $48 billion deal as early as this week, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Neiman Marcus hack victims cleared to pursue class action

Published July 23, 2015 CST

In what is being described as a significant ruling, a federal appeals court says injuries that victims of a data breach at Neiman Marcus allegedly sustained are sufficient to entitle them to pursue their putative class action lawsuit against the retailer.

Anthem to buy Cigna for $54 billion

Published July 24, 2015 CST

Anthem Inc. said on Friday it would buy Cigna Corp. in a deal valued at $54.2 billion, creating the largest U.S. health insurer by membership.

OSHA delays confined spaces in construction rule

Published July 13, 2015 CST

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is delaying the full enforcement of its confined spaces in construction standard for 60 days.

The week in pictures

Published July 24, 2015 CST

The urge to merge, more breaches and California wine country wildfires filled the week at Business Insurance. View the gallery

Fiat Chrysler to recall vehicles to prevent hacking

Published July 24, 2015 CST

(Reuters) — Fiat Chrysler is recalling about 1.4 million vehicles in the United States to update software for radios to prevent hacking.

Court must re-examine certified classes in Volvo litigation

Published July 23, 2015 CST

A federal court should have done a better job of establishing the various classes it approved in class action litigation filed by Volvo car owners, says a federal appeals court in remanding the case.

Judge rules Chicago pension fix unconstitutional

Published July 24, 2015 CST

A Cook County, Illinois, circuit court judge ruled unconstitutional a pension reform law that took effect on Jan. 1 aimed at improving the funding of Chicago's pension funds for laborers and municipal workers.

Senate GOP to make new effort to repeal health care reform law

Published July 24, 2015 CST

The Senate's top Republican will make a new effort this weekend to win passage of legislation to repeal the health care reform law.

Timing is everything: Before signing contract, worker was employee

Published July 22, 2015 CST

A painter who didn't sign an independent contractor agreement before he was injured on the job is considered an employee and entitled to workers compensation benefits, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has ruled.

Drug monitoring programs offer step toward limiting opioid abuse

Published July 23, 2015 CST

At least 10 states require health care providers to access a prescription drug monitoring program before prescribing opioids, but workers compensation payers in all states should request providers do so to curb overprescribing.

Allied World profit dives in second quarter

Published July 23, 2015 CST

Second-quarter 2015 net income at Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings A.G. plunged to $9.5 million from $151.9 million a year ago, the Zug, Switzerland-based insurer said.

Dismissal of EEOC wellness lawsuit requested

Published July 20, 2015 CST

Flambeau Inc. has asked a federal judge to dismiss the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's lawsuit over the company's use of health risk assessments and biometric screenings in its wellness program.

Group effort helps cut number of early elective births

Published July 23, 2015 CST

A group of health care stakeholders has helped reduce the rate of early elective infant deliveries for nonmedical reasons in Illinois to 2% in 2014 from 24% in 2010, the Midwest Business Group on Health said.

(subscription required)New law frustrates efforts to cut shareholder lawsuits

Published July 19, 2015 CST

Recent Delaware legislation that would prohibit a likely curb to shareholder lawsuits means business' rising litigation costs remain largely unaddressed.

Worker deemed possible employee under FLSA in retaliation case

Published July 21, 2015 CST

A lower court should have considered “economic realities” in determining whether an engineer who worked for an energy company was an independent contractor rather than an employee, says an appeals court in overturning a lower court ruling.

Mining accidents killed 18 workers in first half of 2015

Published July 24, 2015 CST

Eighteen workers died in mining industry accidents during the first half of 2015, according to a new report by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

West African brokerage joins Worldwide Broker Network

Published July 24, 2015 CST

Worldwide Broker Network said Friday that Lagos, Nigeria-based broker Ark Insurance Brokers Ltd. has joined their network of independent insurance brokerage firms.

(subscription required)Tailor wellness programs to individual workforces for maximum effect

Published July 19, 2015 CST

LAS VEGAS — Rising health care costs are front of mind for most employers, but there are several ways to ease the burden.