The use of data and analytics are really valuable however those losses caused by human beings; Lac Megantic and Fort McMurray are misleading.  They are not a matter of climate change.

The lack of preparedness includes the maintenance of lack of care by city operators, the drainable systems and construction standards needed to protect the buildings and their interiors.  But everyone has to work together to preserve assets.  Insurance can only do so much.

Terence Corcoran: Why insurers keep hyping ‘climate risks’ that don’t materialize

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Judge tells Tesla, SEC to justify lawsuit deal before settling


(Reuters) — A New York district court judge has asked Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to provide a joint statement by Oct. 11 before approving the recent settlement.

Judge Alison Nathan said it was a regular practice at the Southern District of New York Court to have the parties submit a joint letter explaining why the court should approve a proposed consent judgment.

Tesla and Mr. Musk have agreed to pay $20 million each to the financial regulator under a settlement for a securities fraud lawsuit related to Mr. Musk’s Aug. 7 tweet about taking the electric car maker private, in which he said he had funding “secured.” As part of the settlement, Mr. Musk will also step down as the company’s chairman but remain chief executive.

“The Court has a duty to ensure the proposed consent judgment is “fair and reasonable,” Judge Nathan wrote in the order, numbered 18-cv-08865-AJN.

Tesla did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Shares of the company fell 5% to $280.03 in afternoon trading on Thursday.


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Court rules against firm that requires janitors to form corporate entities


Employment Practices General liability

A federal appeals court has reinstated a Fair Labor Standards Act case filed against a janitorial firm that had required its workers to form corporate entities and became franchisees.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver held in Wednesday’s ruling in R. Alexander Accosts, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor v. Jani-King of Oklahoma Inc. that the evidence indicates the individuals involved can be considered employees under the FLSA.

Oklahoma City-based Jani-King is a janitorial company providing cleaning services in the Oklahoma City area that engages individuals, pairs or related individuals, or small corporate entities that are allegedly composed predominantly or entirely of single individuals or pairs of related individuals, to perform janitorial work on its behalf through franchise arrangements, according to the ruling.

The company recently began requiring individuals and pairs of related individuals, both those already affiliated with the firm and those who are new, to form corporate entities, which then became named parties to the franchise, said the ruling.

Following an investigation into its employment practices, the Secretary of Labor filed a complaint against the company alleging FLSA violations and seeking an injunction requiring it to keep the requisite FLSA employee records.

The U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City granted Jani-King’s motion to dismiss the case, which was unanimously overturned by a three-judge district court on appeal.

The DOL’s amended complaint “alleged a series of facts to show that … these individual Janitorial Cleaners are employees under the FLSA,” said the ruling.

“It is well settled that the economic realities of an individual’s working relationship with the employer — not necessarily the label or structure overlaying the relationship — determine whether the individual is an employee under the FLSA,” said the ruling.

“The complaint also alleges that Jani-King has violated the FLSA as to these employees by failing to comply with recordkeeping requirements. These allegations are sufficient to state a claim at this stage of the proceedings,” said the ruling, adding that “In so concluding we make no determination as to the merits of the Secretary’s case — we only hold that it survives” the initial motion to dismiss.

The case was remanded for further proceedings.

In July, a federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling and held there is not enough evidence to establish that a relocation company was exempt from paying its workers overtimeunder an exception to the FLSA.


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The ‘wake-up call’ for brokers placing D&O liability

A multi-million-dollar pollution clean-up order that spooked the Canadian insurance industry has some commercial brokers taking a good hard look at the exact wording of mid- to large-sized clients’ directors and officers (D&O) liability policies.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment issued a clean-up order in 2012 against 13 former directors of Northstar Aerospace Canada, which at the time was effectively bankrupt. Those directors had to pay millions because Northstar’s D&O policy excluded pollution.

The Northstar case “was a bit of a wake-up call in the insurance industry,” Jennifer Fairfax, a litigation partner and environmental lawyer with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP said Tuesday in an interview. She was not involved with Northstar but has represented clients faced with clean-up orders.

“We have been starting to see D&O liability policies that cover environmental situations,” Fairfax said. Brokers and clients “need to carefully look at the wording” on such policies because most generally exclude fines and penalties, some include defence costs and others do not include defence costs, she added.

Most D&O policies have pollution exclusions, James Bennett, manager of executive solutions for Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, said in an interview.

With Northstar, the underlying company had court protection from creditors and the Ministry of the Environment was considered a creditor just like anyone else owed money by Northstar.

Commercial brokers serving mid to large-sized clients are concerned that existing D&O policies may not adequately cover their clients if the firms go under.

Northstar Aerospace used to make aircraft parts in Cambridge, Ont. but the firm filed for creditor protection. The Cambridge site was contaminated with chemicals left over from a previous owner.

Ontario law gives the environment ministry the power to order anyone with “management or control” of a piece of land to pay to clean up pollution. With the Northstar directors, the ministry  “interpreted management or control quite broadly,” Fairfax said.

Some insurers writing D&O will add in pollution coverage for directors and officers but these typically have sub-limits of about $1 million, though in some cases it can be as high as $2 million, Bennett said.

The sub-limit would be shared among the directors and it is not over and above the limit of the D&O policy, Bennett said. “Brokers should be looking at providing the specific environmental liability policy for them and look to include clean-up costs.”

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So while only a short time in the office of Premier of Ontario; the largest province in  Canada, contributing roughly 39% of the annual GDP, Ford has shown his total lack of respect for the rule of law and the institutions that rely upon them.

First it was Hydro One:  4 administrations have come and gone and each one has tried to change the once pubic entity into a managed one in their own version.  The sole purpose/mission statement of this entity is to provide electrical power to all the province.  But it has been mismanaged.  The staggering salaries to the CEO and directors was a compensation nightmare so Ford fired them all.  The cost to do this was staggering.  Had Ford known what he was about to do, and understood from a host of legal and financial advisors, he may have done it another way.  Now is is rudderless.

Next was the slashing of all Environmental Wind & Solar energy programs.  Wether or not Climate Change is to be supported, the investment into these alternate energy streams had received over $200,000,000 in investment and were providing jobs.

Now he is after slashing and burning the no. of councillors on the City board.  He has attempted to fire them out of a whim of his however there were vacant seats and others were about to run for office.  What now?

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Remember this is newest increase in the US Federal Debt is in a good economy.  And only to keep the government open.

What are the plans in a bad economy?  Give the entire country to debt holders?

This makes no sense.

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The likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and many others are kind generous people who have worked hard and who think of their legacies for others. We are all better for this.

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