Calif. Group Seeks To Raise State's Med Mal Damages Cap

By Y. Peter Kang, LAW 360

September 27, 2019

 

https://www.law360.com/california/articles/1203371/calif-group-seeks-to…

Law360 (September 27, 2019, 9:18 PM EDT) -- A consumer advocacy group has launched a ballot initiative that would significantly raise California’s cap on pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases, five years after a similar proposal was shot down by voters.

Families of Injured Patients File California Ballot Measure to Raise MICRA

By Staff Writers, INSURANCE JOURNAL

September 26, 2019

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2019/09/26/541369.htm

Several families of inured patients on Thursday filed proposed initiative for the November 2020 ballot to raise California’s medical malpractice cap.

The cap is set by the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, MICRA, passed in 1975.

The Fairness for Injured Patients Act was filed with the Secretary of state.

L.A. Drops Lawsuit Over DWP Billing Errors. Now Ratepayers Could Owe Millions

By Dakota Smith, LOS ANGELES TIMES

September 26, 2019

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-26/dwp-pricewaterhouse…

The city of Los Angeles moved Thursday to abandon its high-profile lawsuit against PricewaterhouseCoopers in what amounts to a stunning defeat for City Atty. Mike Feuer, who had tried to blame the consulting firm for the massive overbilling debacle at the Department of Water and Power.

Coalition Launches MICRA Ballot Initiative With Backing From Wealthy Trial Lawyer

By Angela Hart, POLITICO PRO

September 26, 2019

SACRAMENTO — A deep-pocketed lawyer and a coalition led by Consumer Watchdog are launching a November 2020 ballot initiative that would multiply the amount medical negligence victims stand to receive in court, potentially resurrecting a political dogfight involving attorneys, hospitals and doctors.

California Department of Insurance to Investigate Legality of Affinity Group Discounts

By Timothy Darragh, BESTWIRE

September 25, 2019

http://news.ambest.com/newscontent.aspx?altsrc=108&refnum=220466

SACRAMENTO, Calif.
Saying discounts offered to affinity groups in California exacerbate disparities in auto insurance rates that lead to higher costs for lower-income families and communities of color, the California insurance commissioner is looking into their legality.

Consumer Watchdog Asks California Attorney General to Investigate Insurance Commissioner

By Staff Writers, INSURANCE JOURNAL

September 23, 2019

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2019/09/23/540852.htm

Consumer Watchdog has written California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the District Attorneys of Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles counties, calling for an investigation of money laundering and bribery relating to the fundraising scandal engulfing California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

Emails Blurred The Line Between Politics And Policy In California Insurance Department

By Hannah Wiley, SACRAMENTO BEE - CAPITOL ALERT

September 19, 2019

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article23…

When an industry executive reached out on May 1 to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s department staff, he emailed with two meeting requests: a “formal policy discussion” and a “political meeting.”

Consumer Watchdog: California Commissioner’s Calendar Suggests He Made Contact in ‘Pay to Play’

By Staff Writers, INSURANCE JOURNAL

September 19, 2019

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2019/09/19/540547.htm

Calendar entries and documents show that California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, not his fundraiser, made first contact with an agent of a workers’ compensation insurance company offering political support in conjunction with seeking approval for a change of control in the company, according to Consumer Watchdog.

Recycling Centers Shut Down, Leaving Consumers Unable To Redeem Bottle Deposits

By Michael Finney & Renee Koury, KABC TV-7 San Francisco, CA

September 18, 2019

https://abc7news.com/society/bottle-deposits-go-unclaimed-as-recycling-…

DALY CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- The sudden shutdown of the state's largest recycling company has sparked outrage among consumers who say they've lost any reasonable way to redeem the deposits on their bottles and cans.

No One Can Agree on How to Price California Home Insurance for Wildfires

Insurers, consumer advocates at odds over use of algorithmic models to assess risk

By Nicole Friedman, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

September 16, 2019

https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-one-can-agree-on-how-to-price-californi…

Finding home insurance in wildfire-prone parts of California is getting more difficult and more expensive. No one can agree on how to make it any easier.

California’s Insurance Chief Vowed Not To Take Industry Money. Records Show He Did, And Knew It

By Hannah Wiley, CAPITOL ALERT - SACRAMENTO BEE

September 10, 2019

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article23…

California’s top regulator of insurance companies sought campaign contributions from the industry and partied with one of its lobbyists after winning his election last year, according to records and social media posts obtained by The Sacramento Bee.

Consumer Group Wants AG To Investigate California Insurance Commissioner Over 2nd Home

By Staff Writers, INSURANCE JOURNAL

September 10, 2019

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2019/09/10/539402.htm

Consumer Watchdog is calling on California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the district attorneys for Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco counties to launch an investigation over the potential theft of public funds.

California Commissioner Sorry for Accepting Insurance Industry Contributions

By Staff Reporters, INSURANCE JOURNAL

September 4, 2019

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2019/09/04/538887.htm

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has offered an apology for accepting campaign contributions from the insurance industry.

Lara in a letter that was reportedly sent on Tuesday acknowledged that his campaign solicited contributions from the insurance industry, despite a campaign pledge not to do so.

California Insurance Commissioner Halts Fundraising Over Conflicts

By Timothy Darragh, BESTWIRE

September 4, 2019

Sacramento, CA -- California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has suspended campaign fundraising for the rest of 2019 after repeated news media revelations that his campaign accepted funds from individuals with ties to the insurance industry.

Lara, in a letter sent to consumer advocates and posted on his campaign website, apologized for taking contributions from industry sources after pledging during his campaign not to do so.

NTSB Confirms Autopilot Engaged During Tesla Crash

Model 3 runs into back of unoccupied fire truck

By Michael Strong, THE DETROIT BUREAU

September 3, 2019

https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2019/09/ntsb-confirms-autopilot-engage…

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that a Tesla Model S that hit the back of a fire truck was in Autopilot mode and the driver was not holding the steering wheel when it hit the parked vehicle.

Column: California’s Fire Insurance Market Reaches A Crisis

By Michael Hiltzik, LOS ANGELES TIMES

August 29, 2019

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-08-28/hiltzik-california-fi…

Steve Nielsen would not normally have considered himself a resident of California’s wildfire zone. But that ended in October 2017, when a fire swept through Coffey Park, his suburban Santa Rosa neighborhood, destroying his home and those of about 1,200 neighbors.

Senators Call For Connected Car Kill Switches Following Consumer Watchdog Report

By Ryan Daws, IoT NEWS

August 23, 2019

https://www.iottechnews.com/news/2019/aug/23/senators-connected-car-kil…

US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey have penned a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asking whether vehicle manufacturers have disclosed vulnerabilities with their cars.

California Supreme Court Upholds $27.6 Million Fine on Mercury Insurance Co.

By Timothy Darragh, BESTWIRE

August 16, 2019

http://news.ambest.com/newscontent.aspx?altsrc=108&refnum=219515

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Supreme Court has denied a petition by Mercury Insurance Co., letting stand a record $27.6 million fine the state Department of Insurance levied on the company for illegally charging broker fees on its automobile policies.