In This Issue

New Members
Ryan Beaudoin
Witherspoon Kelley, P.S.
Spokane, WA
Cherie Blackburn
Nexsen Pruett, LLC
Charleston, SC
Nathan Brown
The Kroger Co.
Cincinnati, OH
Joseph Falasco
Quattlebaum, Grooms &
Little Rock, AR
Stanford Fitts
Strong & Hanni
Salt Lake City,  UT

Michael Montgomery
Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP
Mobile, AL
Hildy Sastre
Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.
Miami, FL

Kyle Seedorf
Taylor Anderson, LLP
Denver, CO

Leonard Weakley, Jr.
Jedson Engineering, Inc.
Cincinnati, OH

Philip Willman
Brown & James, P.C.
St. Louis, MO

Federation Publications
We Have a Tremendous Village

Howard Merten and
Elizabeth Lorell
Everyone has heard the phrase, "it takes a village."  Several months ago, Mills challenged the P&O and MDR committees to jointly help with one of the biggest challenges to the future of the Federation - a membership that is getting more and more "seasoned" every year.  Yes, "seasoned" is the nice way of saying "older," and "older" means closer to retirement.  We need to build and grow our membership to combat a wave of future retirements, and also to bring in younger and more diverse members, including more corporate and industry members.  We also set a goal to add 200 new members by the end of 2018.  (Well, Mills did; we agreed and then called him crazy behind his back.)  We knew we couldn't do it alone, so we decided to ask our "village" to help.  

Time is running out to register for this year's
Winter Meeting in Charleston!

Spots filling up fast! Limited Space Available!

We invite you to join us for an additional day of fun, education and networking just for the women of The FDCC!   J
oin us in Charleston for the first annual FDCC Professional Women's Forum Event on Sunday, March 5, 2017! Location conveniently located near the Winter Meeting! 

For more information, check out the brochure on the FDCC website.

THE LITIGATION MANAGEMENT COLLEGE has earned an international reputation as the premier advanced training course for claims professionals:
  • NOT your average sit and take notes seminar
  • Intense, immersion style program to help develop and hone critical skills that will lead to improved claims handling performance
  • A unique opportunity for claims professionals to explore, study, and discuss issues of current interest
  • An invaluable opportunity to work one-on-one with leading jury consultants and lawyers as students participate in mock depositions relating to a bad faith claim
  • Coverage Analysis and Letter Writing Partnering with Defense Counsel
  • Efficiency and Time Management
Get ready for the
2017 FDCC Insurance Industry Institute!
The program will be held November 9 and 10, Sheraton New York Time Square, in the heart of New York's Theater District.  Programs will include a CEO Roundtable, a Climate Change Update (featuring Columbia Law Professor Michael Gerrard, a leader in this field), a program on Early Dispute Resolution (featuring prominent mediator David Geronemus), and much more.

The new midtown location will be great for family and friends, particularly theater-goers.  We'll be a two-minute walk from Broadway Theaters.  Plus, with a November date, a visit to New York will be perfect for holiday shopping.

For additional information, please contact the Institute Co-Chairs Gena Sluga, Rick Long, or Alan Rutkin, or go
Many of you have expressed a desire to make your Montreux Palace reservations in advance of the meeting registration.  In response, starting now the hotel will take your reservations.  The convention team letter you received at the end of November contains all the current information we have been provided with.  
Federation Triumphs

Christian Steinmetz, Gannam, Gnann & Steinmetz, LLC, Savannah, GA, recently obtained a favorable ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court when it affirmed the Chatham County Superior Court (trial court) ruling in favor of his client, J. Hamrick Gnann, Jr., Esq., as Receiver and against the Willow Lakes Homeowners' Association, Inc. in Savannah, Georgia. With the HOA in crisis, upon the Petition of some homeowners, and over strenuous objections, the Superior Court appointed a Receiver March of 2013. The Court vested the Receiver with complete financial authority over the HOA, including authority to contract and pay, and divested both the Board President and Board Members of all financial control. After over 2 years of tensions building due to the HOA Board President's behavior, in the Spring of 2015, the HOA Board President's actions elevated to the point where he was openly acting antagonistically towards fellow HOA Members and against the best interests of his HOA. The Board took no action in response. The Receiver filed a Motion to broaden his powers and to enjoin the HOA President and Board from exercising any authority over the HOA. After a 4-day trial, the trial court found in favor of the Receiver and removed the HOA President from the Board and broadened the Receiver's powers. The HOA and the removed President took appeal directly to the Georgia Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found that the deposed HOA President had used his position as President to act against the best interests of the HOA for his and his family members' personal benefit(s). The Court found ample evidence and legal authority to affirm the trial court's decision, and ruled that the removal of the HOA President from the Board maintained the status quo by preventing further waste of assets that the Receiver was appointed to protect. The case is McCoy, et al vs. Bovee, et al, with Westlaw citation 2017 WL 473919, date February 6, 2017.
David J. Varriale, Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan LLP, Valhalla, NY, obtained a unanimous defense verdict in a nursing home choking case in Suffolk County on December 16, 2016. In the case, Conforti v. Oak Hollow Nursing Center,, plaintiff alleged that the staff had been negligent in failing to include in the transfer paperwork to co-defendant Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center specific information concerning a prior choking incident which led to the resident's prior admission to another hospital, and was the basis for changing his diet texture to puree two weeks earlier. The defense argued that including such specific information in the transfer paperwork was unnecessary and not the standard of care, and the nursing home properly had the resident on a puree diet until his final discharge to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center on September 16, 2008. Plaintiff did achieve a verdict against the two other defendants, including the attending physician who oversaw treatment at the nursing home and the subsequent hospital.
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