Potential Lawsuits and Product Liability Insurance

A company is only as good as the products they produce and sell. Consumers expect the items they buy to perform as expected and there remains a growing concern about product safety, particularly with all of the product recalls that occur from time to time. Providing products you manufacture comes with a certain amount of risk. This is why organizations put these items through rigorous testing before making them available to the public.


With all of the competition in today’s burgeoning marketplace it’s important to not only stand behind the products you sell, but also to ensure that there are no hazards related to the normal use of these items. Product Liability Insurance is available to help pay in the event that a lawsuit is brought against you and your company for negligence or public endangerment related to the use of any products you currently market.


Lawsuits are a common concern for many manufacturers


While no one is happy to hear that circumstances have resulted in their being named in a lawsuit this can quite easily be a reality. Carrying insurance is one way to be prepared for issues that could ignite such actions. Having Product Liability Insurance coverage is how most major manufacturers are able to protect their interests. You really need to take into consideration many of the implications that can arise from the use of your products. Safety should always be a priority for anyone that manufactures any type of products.


The great thing about having Product Liability Insurance is that it protects you should a lawsuit arise due to the improper use of your product, something that can be difficult to prove. Regardless of the reason why a product is deemed unsafe it will be costly if a claim of this sort winds up in a courtroom. In the event that a product that you manufacture accidentally injures someone, or causes property damage, your product liability coverage protects you when your business is deemed financially responsible to pay claims.


Most manufacturers have agreed to put warning labels on packaging (or on the product itself) to both, demonstrate how to use the product properly, as well as to provide a warning about its misuse. Speak to an agent about your questions or concerns related to the importance of carrying this coverage.


Employment Practices Issues and Staff Insurance

Among the many risks and exposures associated with owning and operating your staffing agency there exists grave concerns over the possibility of claims resulting from employment-related exposures. This can result from the placement of employees in positions under the direction and control of your clients.

It’s important to ensure that your staff insurance coverage includes an employment practices liability (EPL) policy for your agency, and that policy needs to include temporary employees under the definition of employees covered.

Whenever an employment-related lawsuit is filed, due to the fact that the relationship between your agency, the temporary employee, and your client companies is rather complex, it‘s not at all surprising to see the staffing agency and the client company being sued jointly by the claimant.

Most clients agree that EPL insurance is necessary

As a staffing agency, your contract with clients may state that they require you to have an EPL policy to defend against, or cover damages resulting from employment-related lawsuits made against them by your temp employees. In order to cover your agency against such an exposure, your EPL policy would need to be specifically endorsed or extended. While there is an understanding that many suits of this nature are groundless, with employees often accusing managers, co-workers, or staff from either company of discrimination or harassment, defending against these types of claims can be very costly and time consuming. They may even claim that they were denied a job or position that they felt they were qualified for and EPL coverage would help pay court costs in this case as well.

Employment law can be very complex and varies from one jurisdiction to the next. Lawyers, well versed in all aspects of EPL laws, might be able to prove that a case does not have merit. But still, the costs for litigation can be quite high and when a settlement is made in favor of the plaintiff, damage awards can be excessive. With the likelihood that employment law will only become more complex over time, staff insurance that covers employment practices liability issues is a very important component to have.

NewMark and Directors & Officers Liability Insurance

Directors and officers liability insurance (D&O) is designed to cover the directors and officers who oversee the company’s affairs. This policy is needed because these individuals can be charged with liability for an ever-increasing number of actions and inactions. By definition, a company can include non-profit organizations, charitable trusts, and civic associations. The one common thread tying them together is the concept of a “duty” owed by an officer or director to its constituents such as shareholders, employees and the corporation itself.


D&O liability came about as a solution to such matters as breaches of fiduciary duty and good faith that were beyond the common law courts. This helps explain why the legal structures governing the conduct of these individuals are often vague and subject to differing interpretations.


It may also explain why the area is such a fertile field for litigators. Anyone suffering any sort of damages, from a sharp drop in the share price or a wrongful termination, can scrutinize corporate activity and then accuse the manager of having breached a corporate duty. NewMark understands how D&O works and can provide insurance products to deal with the difficulties surrounding such claims.


D&O policy is an integral part of your liability coverage  

Many consider D&O coverage as an integral part of any corporation’s liability package. Originally it was a way to protect the officers and directors, as well as the corporate entity, and was mostly concerned with business litigation. Now, however, there are many different types of issues involved, like public policy concerns, fraud, unfair competition, employment practices, and exposure of trade secrets.


D&O policies don’t cover criminal activities; they are concerned exclusively with civil remedies, mainly damages awarded. Therefore the only criteria are in determining whether a director or an officer has breached one of his basic duties to the extent that the aggrieved party can recover.


All business ventures involve a certain amount of risk


Private company risks are less concerned with securities violations. Their main exposure is to employees, but any company that employs one or more individuals or deals with customers, clients, competitors, the government, or other third parties has a D&O exposure, making the need for directors and officers liability insurance all the more prevalent. Let NewMark provide you with the coverage that you need.

Temp Employee Status Concerns and Staff Insurance

A leasing company sends a temporary employee to a client company for a term of work that will continue up until such a time as the temp performs the required assignments. The client company provides all of the work materials, training, and supervision of the temp employee. It controls the temp’s hours and days of work. Each week, the temp fills out a time sheet provided by the leasing company, which is countersigned by a supervisor at the client company. The leasing company issues a paycheck to any temporary employee they send out on assignment for each week a time sheet is submitted. They also deduct all of the appropriate federal and state withholding’s and pay the necessary payroll taxes.

One day, however, while at the work site, another employee negligently creates a hazardous situation resulting in the temporary employee being injured on the job. The staffing company, if deemed responsible, will need to have staff insurance that provides workers comp claims, but who is ultimately responsible for the care of the injured temp worker?

Is the temp an independent contractor or employee?

The first step is to determine whether the temp was actually a permanent employee of the client company, the leasing company, or both. The IRS evaluates whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee because they are more likely to receive payroll taxes and withholding’s from employers than income taxes from independent contractors.
In general, what these criteria will focus on is whether the employer has control over the worker and the method of completing the job. For instance, an employer (as opposed to a company contracting with an independent contractor) is more likely to provide the work materials and tools necessary to do the job, set the hours and days of work, and monitor the person’s ongoing work.

The determination of who is the employer will ultimately be a fact-based decision by the court assigned to hear the case. The leasing company, the client company, or both can end up being considered the employer, which serves as a perfect example of why staff insurance is required for when situations arise that result in a workers comp claim.