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Problems & Solutions
The ProblemOur client was notified by a recently terminated employee that there had been harassment that created a hostile workplace. The client was formulating a termination package and simply continued to negotiate with the former employee. Negotiations on the termination package fell through, and the employee filed a civil suit.
While the client had employment practices liability insurance, the carrier denied coverage due to late reporting and allegations that the client engaged in settlement negotiations without the insurer’s permission. The employee’s first notice to the employer of a possible claim was five months prior to the filing of the civil suit.
The SolutionOdell Studner’s Claim Director convinced the insurer that the client did not knowingly breach the policy conditions, and those actions did not prejudice the insurer in its ability to deal with the claimant. We also stressed our efforts to educate this client and others in regard to prompt reporting to the insurer, even if no formal claim has been made, and of the benefit of working closely with the insurer even when the claim might be well within any deductible or self-insured retention. The insurer eventually agreed and offered full defense and indemnification of the pending litigation.
Our client, a food distribution firm, was designing and constructing a new warehouse that included a large refrigeration and freezer operation. Following a review of the design, the insurance carrier requested an upgrade in the sprinkler system, including in-rack sprinklers, which would have increased the cost of the building project by $100,000.
Our risk control consultant reviewed the plans and also assessed the occupancy and storage capacity, the height and design of the planned storage racks, and the packaging design of the products. He concluded the upgrade was unnecessary and prepared a report based on his analysis, which subsequently convinced the carrier to remove the mandatory recommendation.
One of our staffing clients ran into an OSHA training compliance problem at one of its client companies.
Our risk control experts met with each organization, conducted an assessment of their existing exposures, and then developed a service plan to address their needs, including OSHA training for all employees in lock-out/tag-out as well as hazardous communication training. We also trained and certified forklift operators and conducted ergonomic assessments for office personnel.