Client Alerts


McRae v. Arby's
February 8, 2012
On December 1, 2011, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an opinion in McRae v. Arby’s placing some significant restrictions on ex parte communications by the employer and employer’s counsel with the employee’s treating physician.

Click Here to view the opinion. Read More
Courts Now Require Attorneys to Sign Garnishment Answers
February 8, 2012
As you may know, on September 12, 2011, the Georgia Supreme Court adopted Advisory Opinion No. 2010-1 finding that a non-lawyer may not file an Answer in a garnishment action for anyone other than himself. The opinion reasoned that a non-lawyer filing such an Answer was engaged in the unlicensed practice of law. As a result, court clerks are rejecting and returning garnishment answers that do not contain an attorney’s signature and bar number. Read More
Georgia Supreme Court Holds Unanticipated Damages to Other Property Resulting from Faulty Workmanship Constitute a Covered Occurrence" Under CGL Policies"
February 8, 2012
Last week the Georgia Supreme Court decided a case addressing the definition of “occurrence” in a CGL policy. Click here for a copy of the decision of American Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co. v. Hathaway Development Co. Until this decision, Georgia appellate and federal courts have been unclear on the interpretation of “occurrence” in construction defect cases. Federal courts have decided that faulty workmanship is an intended act, even though the damages may not have been intended or expected, and therefore such faulty workmanship is not an “occurrence.” Read More
New Commissioner Withdraws Oxendine Directive
January 24, 2011
On January 10, 2011, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens issued Directive 11-EX-1 (http://www.oci.ga.gov/Other/Directive.aspx?ID=385&I=133098&G=60BA4C0E) withdrawing former Commissioner Oxendine’s earlier Directive (10-EX-1 from April 2010) applying diminution in value to commercial property claims. We addressed Oxendine’s controversial directive in our Fall edition of the First Party Report (http://www.swiftcurrie.com/uploads//FPR_Fall2010.pdf ). Subsequently, Federal District Court Judge Robert L. Vining rejected a commercial property claim for diminution in value in a summary judgment order he issued on December 2, 2010, in the matter Royal Capital Development LLC v. Maryland Casualty Company. We alerted you to Judge Vining’s order in an Alert sent on December 10. Read More
Diminution in Value
December 10, 2010
The controversial right to recover for diminution in value in commercial property losses, mentioned in our Fall edition of the First Party Report (http://www.swiftcurrie.com/uploads//FPR_Fall2010.pdf), was rejected in a recent order issued by the federal district court for the Northern District of Georgia. The December 2, 2010, order granted summary judgment to Maryland Casualty Company. The case, Royal Cap. Dev., LLC v. Maryland Cas. Co. (Civil Action No. 1:10-CV-1275-RLV), involved damage to a structure as a result of nearby construction on the “Streets of Buckhead” project. The Court held that economic damage or “diminution in value” was not included within the commercial property policy’s coverage for “direct physical loss of or damage to” property and determined that loss of value to the building post-repair was not covered. As stated in the Court’s order, the matter “boil[ed] down to simple policy interpretation.” According to Senior Judge Robert L. Vining’s office, the order is not expected to be published although the judge’s office has received numerous contacts regarding the decision. Please note that this decision is subject to appeal. The insured’s attorney told reporters that the plaintiff intends to appeal the decision. (Tobin, Buckhead Building Owner Loses Damage Suit, AJC.com, December 7, 2010.) Read More
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