Financial experts are frequently asked aboutthe tax impact of damage awards, both paidand received. The complexities of the InternalRevenue Code (IRC) and judicial interpretations thereofmake determining the taxability of receipts or payments difficult.The same is true when dealing with the taxability of economic damages awarded to plaintiffs in civil actions. Nuances in the IRC and the judicial interpretations may make it difficult for a taxpayer to determine the taxability of his or her proceeds from a litigation award of personal economic damages. Whether or not such is taxable often depends on how the award of economic damages is categorized and/or described in the awarding documents.
In the United States, the most litigious country in the world, a products liability action may be brought, under state law, for express or implied breach of warranty, misrepresentation and negligence. Under the theory of strict liability, a lawsuit may be initiated on the grounds of manufacturing and design defects as well as poor and inadequate warning instructions. The best defensive strategy for a company to avoid becoming involved in any of the above is to manufacture the safest product possible within parameters of economic feasibility. If said manufacturer can vouch for safety factors in the design, production, testing, inspection and evaluation of its product as well as attentiveness to consumer complaints, it will be more likely to avoid litigation or at least be able to prevail in the courtroom.
When a catastrophe hits, unmanned aerial systems (UASs, also called "drones") can quickly and effectively provide a bird’s-eye view of inaccessible and unsafe areas as well as major losses. Such visual access can drastically change the life of the insurance claim, making drone use a rapidly expanding data-collection method.
What is the first thing I should do if my home got flooded? Call your flood insurance company and file a claim, preferably before August 31st, when the flood settlement rates go down. How can I find out if I have flood insurance, and who to call?
The past eight installments of this series covered a lot of ground -- some technical, but mostly socio-economic and conceptual. But in the debate over the pros and cons of human versus robotic drivers, is it not possible to have the wisdom to take the best of both worlds? In early articles I acknowledged some of the advantages of Highly-Automated Vehicles (HAVs), including:
Mr. B was a 75-year-old man who had made a will in 1995 naming his two sons as equal beneficiaries of his estate after his death. In 2004, he married Ms. M. On August 11, 2008, he was diagnosed with brain cancer, for the treatment of which he was hospitalized. On September 3, 2008, he signed a new will that Ms. M had procured for him, naming her the sole beneficiary of his estate after his death, to be subsequently given to his sons after the event of her death. Mr. B passed away on September 29, 2008. His sons subsequently sued Ms. M, alleging that Mr. B did not have testamentary capacity when he signed his new will. His attorney consulted me to review his medical records to assess Mr. B's mental state, testamentary capacity, and vulnerability to undue influence.
Occipital neuralgia is characterized by severe pain, accompanied by tenderness and trigger points, in the distribution of the greater, lesser, and/or third occipital nerves. Occipital neuralgia is typi- cally idiopathic, but also is characterized as a common form of posttraumatic headache. Typical treatments include nerve blocks with local anesthetic, nerve stimulation, pulsed radiofrequency, and cryoablation. OnabotulinumtoxinA (ONA) has recently been utilized in nerve blocks to treat occipital neuralgia, with the potential for a longer duration of pain relief than local anesthetic.
ln our current climate of economic prosperity and rising real estate values, the prevalence and usefulness of construction litigation may be on the wane. Much of the litigation and expert opinion in recent years has resulted in unrealistic repair schemes for the sole purpose of producing a settlement among parties to the litigation. When a plaintiff expert recommends a "remove and replace in its entirety"1 scenario (for example, arguing that all exterior stucco must be demolished and reinstalled due to a lack of expansion joints), the defense expert frequently advocates a more modest "fix what's broken" scheme to provide a minimum repair at the lowest cost. This process consumes considerable time and resources, and creates a difficult environment in which to craft a settlement. More often than not, neither party is pleased with the outcome; unreasonable plaintiff positions often result in settlement amounts ranging between 15 to 25 percent of the claim amount.
Medical marijuana is now legal in many states and many other states are considering legalizing it. This creates a host of issues and questions, legal and otherwise, that employers must address. This also affects workplace issues and policies. And since each state is different, how do you know how your state laws vs. federal laws affect the issue? It is confusing but this is an area where it is critically important to understand and to act accordingly.
What would you think if I told you that the value of wine tanks increases annually? That the longer you use them the more they're worth? You'd think I was out of my mind! It just doesn't sound reasonable, does it? How can it be possible that the value of equipment as standard as wine tanks goes up annually? And yet, because of the way that wine tanks are assessed in California, the assessment value for ad valorem taxes often does increase annually whether the value of the tanks actually increases or not. Considering that wine tanks often make up a large portion of a winery's fixed asset value, this unreasonable alleged increase in value can create an expensive problem.