So imagine that you are involved in an automobile accident and injure another person. It is clearly your fault and you demand your motor vehicle liability insurance company to settle the claim. After all this is why you have paid thousands of dollars in insurance premiums over the course of your driving life. Fortunately, the victim makes a demand for settlement within your insurance coverage limits. However, your insurance company refuses to settle the case; and, instead, tells you that you should consult with (and pay) a lawyer to protect your personal assets. You are forced to take time off from work and family and go to trial. You lose big time and are left holding the bag for a judgment that you cannot pay and may now lose everything that you had worked for over the course of your life. What to do? On December 15, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined that an insured may assign the right to recover damages from his insurance company deriving from the insurer's bad faith toward the insured.
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The 2010 explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 coal miners. The 2014 Freedom Industries chemical leak left hundreds of thousands of West Virginians without usable water for a month. Over the past year, the major architects of these disasters, Don Blankenship and Gary Southern have found themselves indicted for their crimes. Blankenship's involve deliberate indifference to safety in pursuit of profit. Southern's are similar, but include a healthy dose of fraud charges for attempting to cheat the victims out of compensation. Before these indictments came in, Massey settled civil "deliberate intent" cases brought by the families of the miners who needlessly lost their lives. Freedom Industries, grossly underinsured and undercapitalized, went to bankruptcy to try to protect its corporate partners rather than even attempt to pay for the catastrophe it caused. But as most West Virginians knew from the start, there was criminal wrongdoing at the heart of both cases. The widespread agreement that companies and their corporate leaders should be held accountable makes some current proceedings in Charleston a real mystery. Having freshly gained the majority in the Legislature, Republicans are attempting to pass legislation aimed at giving immunity to the likes of Massey/Blankenship, and Freedom Industries/Southern. This outrage is spread across more than one bill, and every West Virginian should know about them.
I love Starbucks skinny lattes. Peppermint mocha is my absolute favorite, so during the holiday season it is not uncommon to see me with a Starbucks in hand more so than usual as the peppermint flavor is not always available. Recently, I was shopping in Pittsburgh and decided to partake. As I placed my order for a skinny latte, I made sure to mention to the barista, as I always do, that I wanted the sugar-free syrup in the drink. She seemed rather annoyed and proceeded to tell me that I didn't need to specify and ordering a skinny latte with the desired flavor will suffice...that "skinny" means sugar-free syrup will be used. Ok, fine. But for me, it never hurts to be sure. The Starbucks experience reminded me of a time when I was dining out and ordered a diet soda. When I took the first sip, I knew immediately that it was regular pop. I reminded the server that I'd ordered diet and requested that the drink be replaced. She happily did so, but made the comment that I "didn't look like I needed a diet drink" since I am not overweight. True. I am not overweight. However, I am a Type 1 diabetic and have been for 26 years, hence the concern about sugar content in food and drink. Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the body's immune system attacks the cells that make insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Uncontrolled blood sugars can lead to complications such as blindness, neuropathy and kidney failure. Diabetics are also at a higher risk for cardiovascular issues. Those complications are incredibly scary to me. I cannot imagine how such health issues would impact my quality of life and life is too short to not live it to the fullest!
This weekend, my son, Nicholas, and I will be traveling to Charleston, W.Va. for his violin audition for a chance to attend the Governor's School for the Arts (GSA), July 5-25, 2015, at West Virginia Wesleyan College. The Governor's School for the Arts (GSA) is an opportunity for current sophomores who live in and who attend public and private schools, as well as those who are home-schooled in West Virginia, to experience a summer for young artists to develop their talents and expand on their passion for music. This exciting opportunity will become a reality for 108 current West Virginia high school sophomores.
Admittedly, I am not a winter person and quite frankly, it seems every year that I get a little older, I become a tad bit less tolerant of the frigid weather. But as long as I live in Wheeling, W.Va., I am going to see the cold winters that sometimes can seem pretty long. So, what do I do? I do my best to embrace it. I look forward to the snow days -- the really, really, nice snowfall kind of days. You know, the kind that when you were a kid and you spent all day out there building forts, sledding, making snow angels and hurling a snowball at your siblings and neighbors? Even shoveling didn't seem like a chore back in those days. Sure, I may no longer be a kid, but I can still ride a sled and hurl a snowball. Just a couple years ago, I think my children had something like three weeks in a row off of school and each day they had all this energy so much unlike an actual get up and go to school day. But we had a lot of fun and made some great memories.
Join Jamie Bordas and Chris Regan this week on the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review to hear them explain some of the ins and outs of auto insurance coverage. Liability, underinsured, uninsured, med pay, and the impact of health insurance will all be explained by the two noted college football analysts. As a special added bonus treat, Chris and Jamie will each give you their pick for the winner of Monday night's National Championship game. You may be surprised how that turns out!
On October 24, 2014, my husband and I celebrated our 50 th wedding anniversary. He particularly was excited about it and asked me if we could have a reception or party. I planned on having a reception in our church's Fellowship Hall, but our friend, Marie Bennington, told me that she wanted to have a party for us. Since the 24 th was a Friday, Marie planned the party for Saturday, October 25. She had help from two of our other dear friends, Helen Tarbet and Betty Nicely. It was wonderful and my husband was so happy he couldn't quit smiling. We have a picture of us framed and sitting in our living room, his smile as big as I've ever seen it. I tell you all of this to emphasize how quickly life and circumstances can change. On November 9, 2014 at 4:00 a.m., I was awakened by a loud scream. In the past when Clayton felt bad and thought he needed me or a doctor, he would come to the steps and call my name, so this loud scream scared me half to death. I raced downstairs and found him lying on the floor between the living room and the dining area. He couldn't talk and he couldn't stand up. It was terrifying to me and to him. I quickly ran and called 911. The EMTs arrived and unlike other times, they did not take vitals, ask questions, or hook him up to anything. They quickly ran back to the truck, brought in the gurney and loaded him up. They sat outside the house for a while, talking to the hospital and doing whatever they do in such an emergency.
After taking a large amount of credit hours last semester and having no time for any fun, I was finally able to have some downtime over my Christmas break. Due to the large amount of assignments, projects and tests that I knew I would have to complete, I made the decision to cancel my Netflix account in August. I thought this was a very wise choice and that I was keeping myself away from any distractions. I renewed my account in December and did not know what to watch first, I wanted to start a good series that I could watch once or twice a day. For years, I had heard my friends talk non-stop about how "Great," "Awesome," "Funny," and "Addicting" the show Friends was. No matter how entertaining the show was, I refused to start watching for many reasons. One being that if any 90s show was going to be my favorite it would be obviously be Full House . No matter how much they would beg me to watch it, I would refuse. I recently read an article at the beginning of January that featured all the new TV series and movies coming to Netflix in 2015, and it just so happened that Friends was at the top of the list. After trying to ignore it, my willpower broke and I decided that I would give the famous sitcom a shot.
Over the past several weeks, two separate grand juries decided not to indict two police officers for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. First, before I go any further, this is a topic many people feel very passionate about and this article is not my personal opinion on what is right or wrong. Instead, I want to look at the process that takes place when allegations are made against a police officer, such as Darren Wilson or Daniel Pantaleo, and specifically focus on the grand jury process that has been the topic of much conversation and confusion. I sincerely appreciate the sacrifice made by police officers when they risk their own safety to protect our communities, I have many friends who serve in law enforcement positions, but also realize that, like all professionals, police officers are not perfect. The first question that many of my friends have asked is why are these officers not going to trial? Many times, when someone kills another person, they go to trial, a jury is selected and that jury decides whether someone is guilty. The jury must decide whether, based on the evidence presented in the courtroom, the defendant is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." However, this was not the process that took place in Ferguson or New York in the recent publicized cases. These cases never made it to a jury for a decision of guilt and, instead, grand juries decided there was not enough evidence to bring these cases to trial.
Ndamukong Suh , defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions, was suspended after stepping on Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers ' leg after a play during a Monday night football game. I watched the video and call me naïve, but I don't know that I believe it was necessarily intentional. Regardless of what I think, it doesn't matter, I commend the NFL for being cautious or even at times overly-cautious. The NFL is really stepping up to protect its players. With all the concussion precautions and protecting the passers and the kickers, I can live with their ruling.