ESG, BIPA and COVID Claims and EPLI Coverage Issues
ESG claims not only include those related to climate and corporate governance, but also include employment issues such as pay equity, workplace diversity, discrimination and harassment. COVID claims are expansive and often include a failure to comply with various federal and state leave laws, as well as workplace safety issues, work-from-home issues, and requests for reasonable accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Invasion of privacy claims brought by employees, under statutes such as the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (“BIPA”), are on the rise, and can include allegations regarding the collection, storing and dissemination of employee biometric information such as fingerprints, voice recordings and even keystroke patters. This webinar addresses employment practices liability insurance (“EPLI”) coverage issues as they relate to these types of claims regarding ESG, BIPA and COVID, and includes a discussion of what is “covered loss” under an EPLI policy, as well as whether claims can be severed and whether there is coverage for certain statutory violations.
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Meet the Speakers
Talene M. Carter, Employment Practices Liability Thought & Product Leader, Director, FINEX North America Talene is the National Employment Practices Liability (EPL) Thought & Product Leader in the FINEX North America Practice. In this role, she has responsibility for developing innovative, industry leading employment practices liability solutions, as well as the creation and delivery of relevant thought leadership and advice to national and global clients. Talene is also a frequent lecturer and author on employment practices liability issues. In addition to being the EPL Product Leader, Talene is also a Claims Advocate in the FINEX Claims & Legal Group where she provides claims advocacy for clients in the areas of: Directors & Officers, Fiduciary, Employment Practices, Errors & Omissions, Cyber and Fidelity. She handles all aspects of the claims process, including advising clients on coverage, best claims practices and advocating on the client’s behalf for maximum recoveries. Prior to joining WTW, Talene worked in private practice as an Attorney starting in 2003. From 2003 to 2008, she practiced in Pennsylvania where she represented companies in commercial litigation matters. In 2008, she moved to a law firm in New York where she represented insured and self-insured companies in general liability matters until 2014. During her time as a practicing Attorney, Talene handled all aspects of litigation from inception to trial in the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania and New York. Talene has extensive experience litigating matters in state and federal court. Talene received her Bachelor of Business Administration in international business with a minor in Spanish from Loyola University in Maryland, and her Juris Doctorate from Villanova University School of Law. Talene is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of New York and Pennsylvania.
Scott Casher, Partner, White & Williams, LLP Scott Casher is a skilled litigator who represents a variety of business entities with respect to commercial matters, insurance coverage matters, restrictive covenant and non-compete matters, and labor and employment matters, in state and federal trial and appellate courts, at arbitrations and in mediations, and who also advises clients on ESG litigation risks. Scott knows how to utilize the tools of litigation and arbitration to develop and present cases in a convincing way such that opposing parties often lose their claims. He has a reputation for intelligence, experience, skill and toughness. During law school, Scott was a member of the Temple University Law Review. After law school, Scott served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where he gained a significant amount of trial experience. Following the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and before joining White and Williams, Scott was a litigation partner at an AmLaw 100 law firm. While Scott has won many cases after motions to dismiss, and after sometimes precedent-setting trial or arbitration hearings, he is also very successful at settling cases at an early stage in the litigation. The reality is that over 95% of lawsuits are settled, primarily because litigation is by nature uncertain, disruptive and expensive. Because Scott’s adversaries know that he is ready, willing and able to try a case, they often end up settling on terms favorable to Scott’s clients – providing them with cost savings and reduced business interruption. At those times when settlement is not reached, Scott is prepared, persistent and tough in the courtroom.
Rachel Freedman, Vice President – Head of Employment Practices Liability Claims, Sompo International Rachel joined Sompo in July 2017 as Assistant Vice President, Claims Counsel for Management Liability handling complex and high exposure EPL, D&O and Fiduciary claims for a wide variety of insureds including both public and private companies. Rachel also serves as a technical leader for EPL working closely with internal and external business partners on communicating EPL claim trends and legal updates, identifying loss drivers and developing EPL claim strategy. Rachel has over 20 years’ experience in the insurance and legal industries. Prior to joining Sompo, Rachel was a Director/Sr. Claims Counsel at CNA Insurance Company in the Management Liability & Financial Institutions Claim Department. Prior to her employment with CNA, Rachel was an associate at Peterson & Ross in New York serving as coverage and monitoring counsel for a number of carriers. Rachel received her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from the George Washington University National Law Center. She is a member of the New York State Bar.
Anthony “Tony” Miscioscia, Partner, Co-Chair Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Group, White & Williams, LLP Anthony Miscioscia has a broad range of experience in complex insurance coverage, bad faith and commercial litigation matters. He is a knowledgeable and experienced coverage attorney and litigator who provides cost-effective, proactive advice to clients in the hopes of avoiding or minimizing litigation, and tenaciously represents clients in suit when needed. Having over 25 years representing major property and casualty insurers and smaller regional insurance companies on a national and regional basis, insurance company clients look to Tony for advice on a number of complex and emerging issues under both first party and third party insurance policies. He has handled coverage and litigation matters including: construction defect; premises liability; advertising injury/intellectual property; first party property and business interruption; homeowner’s; legal, accounting and other professional liability; food contamination/product recall; environmental liability; educator’s legal liability; employment discrimination; employee benefits coverage; and bad faith claims. Tony’s work includes advising and defending insurers in insurance coverage disputes, including first party business interruption and civil authority shutdown claims related to the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, and large, multi-party construction defect claims. In addition to representing clients in the insurance industry, Tony also represents commercial clients in litigation and arbitration involving business and commercial disputes, including contractual indemnification, product liability, defamation and breach of contract claims. Over the years, he has arbitrated several multi-million dollar contractual indemnity/product liability cases. Tony also partners with the insurance industry in educating both new and experienced claim professionals on topics ranging from advertising injury/intellectual property coverage and construction defect coverage to successor liability and employee benefits liability coverage. During law school, Tony served on the Editorial Board of the Virginia Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif.
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