We are bombarded every day with television advertisements from insurance companies promising to respond and protect their policyholders when disaster strikes. These promises are made with the hopes of enticing more people to purchase policies from the insurer and increasing the premiums collected by the company. Insurance companies make money in two primary ways: 1) collecting premiums and 2) investment income, i.e. interest and dividends earned on the insurer's cash, stock and bond reserves. Paying claims reduces the insurer's cash on hand and, correspondingly, reduces the potential investment income which is realized. As a result, insurers are incentivized to delay paying claims and to minimize any amounts eventually paid and policyholders are left with unfulfilled promises.
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A collection of letters rested, well preserved, in a green suitcase. On top of the pile was an open note, handwritten by a Navy man aboard the lead ship to Normandy on D-Day , my grandfather Dean W. "Hap" Polen, credited to the author Henry van Dyke: "To be glad of life because it gives you to chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars. To be satisfied with your possessions but not content with yourself until you have made the best of them. To despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing except cowardice. To be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts; to covet nothing that is your neighbor's except his kindness of heart and gentleness of manners. To think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends, and every day of Christ; and to spend as much time as you can, with body and with spirit, in God's out-of-doors. These are little guideposts on the footpath to peace."
Today is my wife Stacy's birthday. I have a hundred ways that I could wish her happy birthday. I could just say it to her -- after all, we live in the same house. I could text her like I do about so many other things in our daily lives. Heck, I could even send her an email. Maybe I will do all of those things. But, today she deserves more than that. She deserves for me to let her know how much I admire her. She is the smartest person I know. She has a memory like an elephant, is as quick-witted as they come, and can solve any problem. She put all of these traits to good use in getting her law degree -- a profession that would allow her to use them to the fullest.
In honor of Veterans Day 2013, Bordas & Bordas is proud to re-post the following blog entry from partner Geoff Brown, USMA 1994. Our thanks go to Geoff and all of our nation's veterans on this national day of remembrance. Today is Veterans Day, which always causes me to remember my own service with the United States Army. When I think back to that time in my life, I am proud to be able to say that I did a small part toward making sure that this world is a safer place. I consider myself very lucky to have served with some of the most dedicated young men and women any of us could ever hope to meet. These soldiers came from every corner of the country and from every imaginable background. Every one of them was able to put aside things that may have divided them at home in favor of serving the United States in uniform. We rightly call those who serve heroes for all of the right reasons. We rightly call them heroes because they make us safer.
I received a note on my front door this past weekend from Riesbeck's Food Markets about their sponsorship of the Boy Scouts of America's "Scouting for Food" project which will take place this Saturday, November 9, 2013. Maybe you received one too? Hopefully you did, and hopefully you will participate. It's really easy. Just place any canned goods or non-perishable items in a bag and place that bag on your front step by 9:00 a.m this Saturday. Members of the Boy Scouts of America will come door-to-door in your neighborhood and pick them up. The food is then donated to local food pantries. The Scouting for Food movement was founded in 1985, and has provided more than 47 million food items for families in need since its inception. Boy Scouts perform this service as part of their mission to do good deeds.
Chris and Stephanie Hallowich owned a 10 acre farm in Washington County, Pennsylvania where they were raising their two young children in a quiet, idyllic environment. However, all of that changed when Range Resources began massive gas drilling operations next to their farm, including four gas wells, gas compressor stations, and a water impoundment covering three acres. The effects of these operations on Chris, Stephanie and their little ones were immediate and devastating. Airborne contaminants caused a variety of ailments including burning eyes, sore throats, earaches, and headaches. More than that, the water supply was contaminated and their beloved farm devalued.
The Charleston Gazette recently published an article about Jim Strope, a former client and friend who trusted us with his case a number of years ago. Jim Strope's wife was killed as a result of the negligence of the Honda Motor Company to appropriately design, manufacture and put into production a seat that was safe and would protect its occupants from injury or death in a rear-end impact. He had the courage to bring the suit against Honda and to offer testimony as to the impact that this major automobile manufacturer's negligence caused. An Ohio County Circuit Court jury returned a multi-million dollar verdict on behalf of the Stropes. The article appearing in the Gazette is both interesting and informative: http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201310190050
Just a week before we celebrate Veterans' Day, hundreds of thousands of military families have taken another body blow from our country's failing leadership in Washington D.C. Over 900,000 American veterans rely on food stamps to feed their families. Nonetheless, their benefits will be cut because our leaders cannot bring themselves to focus our collective effort on helping those who need, and deserve, help the most. Most Americans do not know the role that poverty plays in the lives of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. In the midst of the worst national unemployment crisis since the Great Depression, veterans are disproportionately likely to be unemployed . Veterans are more than twice as likely as the average American to be living on the streets .
Many of our readers may have an interest in what really happens in lawsuits before juries and some of the things juries are not told by the courts and lawyers because they are prohibited at trial from doing so. Along these lines is an editorial printed in the Charleston Gazette written by Robert Angelone, an economist from New Jersey, who tries to clean up some of the "unknown." Our firm has linked to this story for your viewing. We hope you enjoy it.
In the midst of the recent government shutdown, a story emerged that a group of people receiving welfare through the "EBT" program unexpectedly found that their EBT debit cards suddenly had no limit . The computer glitch allowed these individuals, who are dependent on food stamps to live, to go to Wal-Mart and fill up carts full of groceries to take home. A commentator, titling his article " The Louisiana Heist " described the scene this way: There was no food left on any of the shelves, and no meat left. The grocery part of Walmart was totally decimated." One man even managed to spend $700.