Law Enforcement Legal Update - A nationwide view of shootings involving police officers 

Issue:       October 2017
Authors:  Ted Gaisford and Steve Leone - Genesis

On August 9, 2014, an 18-year-old African-American man named Michael Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, which brought national media attention to fatal shootings involving police officers. The Washington Post has been tracking all fatal police shootings since Ferguson, and according to its data, for the past two years there have been just under 1,000 fatal police shootings per year. Mental illness played a role in almost 25% of the incidents.The Genesis Public Entity Claim Unit monitors this data and tracks police use of force nationwide through settlements and verdicts, as well as other law enforcement trends.

The cases outlined in this publication are by no means all-inclusive and are intended to provide our clients with a representative sampling of case outcomes throughout the country. 


New Regulation for Small Unmanned Aircraft - Part 107

Issue:      August 2016
Author:   Regina Pettus - Genesis, Atlanta

The FAA will soon release new rules to the Federal Aviation Regulations Handbook related to small-sized unmanned aircraft systems (UAS),commonly known as drones, that weigh less than 55 pounds and are used by non-hobbyists. While the regulation is geared toward commercial use, it will affect public entities as well as both public and private educational institutions. The regulation is called Part 107 and will take effect August 29, 2016. All current requirements are in effect until then.



Issue:      July 2015 
Authors:  Charles F. Gfeller, Esq. and Mike Otworth, CPCU, ARM 

Scholastic club sports and activities have grown in popularity and provide a positive opportunity for students to engage in various recreational activities. As participation in these actives continues to increase across schools, the possibility of injury also increases. When these two variables combine, they result in rising claims against educational institutions.  This article will provide risk managers with suggested policies and procedures to help ensure their institutions are well protected and best situated to resolve possible claims quickly and efficiently. In order to best accomplish this, it is first necessary to understand the various legal duties owed by elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities, with respect to their students. 

Student Bullying and Peer Harassment:  How to Manage the Risk to Your Public Entity When Different Standards are Being Applied

Issue:     Jan 2015  
Author:   Julie E. Lewis, Esq.

Litigation filed against educational institutions and officials over the issue of student-onstudent/peer bullying is on the rise, despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court set a high standard for proving liability against school districts in lawsuits for monetary damages as a result of peer sexual harassment under Title IX in 19991 . Moreover, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has ramped up its investigation and enforcement efforts by focusing a great deal of attention on the issue and by applying an expansive reading of the applicable laws to its investigations. In addition to other laws, OCR enforces Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, both of which prohibit disability discrimination.  This article will provide insights to Risk Managers regarding how to manage the risk of any type of peer harrassment / bullying. 

The Amended Americans with Disabilities Act:  Shifting obligations for Human Resource Management

Issue:      Nov / Dec 2013
Authors:  Michael Otworth CPCU and Benjamic C. Eggert, Esq.

By now, public entities might reasonably expect that their obligations under the Americans With Disabilities Act—which is better known as the ADA—would be well settled given that the statute was enacted more than 20 years ago. But recent amendments to the ADA and strategic enforcement priorities announced by federal officials have left public entity employers with shifting and emergent obligations to their actual and prospective employees.  This article will summarize the history of the ADA as well as recent amendments to the statute, then survey employers’ developing responsibilities under the amended ADA together with practical strategies for public entities to address their shifting obligations. 

Sports-Related Concussions

Issue:      July 2013
Author:  Martin Hacala

Sports concussions have received quite a bit of press lately, as a result of high-profile lawsuits against the NCAA and the NFL.   Medical advances in our understanding about brain injuries are raising awareness and concern about concussions, particularly in the young.  

This Genesis Insights article employs a Q&A format to sort through the science as well as the existing and emerging liability landscape.  We also provide some suggestions for schools and other public entities to  consider in managing this growing risk.                                                                                                                               


Workers' Compensation Claims Toolbox
Issue:     June 2013
Author:  Lauren Hilan

Given the constant and ever- changing challenges of WC Claims, it’s important that Claim Professionals be armed with multiple claims management tools.  The focus of the Genesis WC Toolbox is to allow Claim Professional to be better prepared to tackle difficult problems and make decisions. The Toolbox tools provide a process and framework that Claim Professionals can apply on a daily basis.

The Genesis WC Toolbox claim management tools were constructed to promote purposeful thought, critical thinking and fact based, not intuition based, decision-making.  These tools were designed to complement and enhance, not replace, existing claims processes and procedures, as well as to provide Claim Dept management with measurable data to track and audit Claim Professionals’ activity, and to identify high performers.  This article will describe the tools in greater detail.  


The State of Workers' Compensation Claims: Back to Basics

Issue:       June 2012
Author:  Lauren Hilan
There is no shortage of critical Workers' Compensation issues facing today's employers. Some of these issues have reached the point where core fundamentals of the Workers' Compensation system are being jeopardized, including that of the claim handler, injured worker and treating physicians acting as a team towards recovery and return to work. In this Insights we explore how this happened and what can be done to return focus to that recovery and return-to-work, collaborative-team approach.


Cyberbullying: When Bullying Leaves School Grounds
Issue:       May/June 2012
Authors:  Mike Otworth, Sharon Holt

Cyberbullying is an emerging issue for schools. This article, providing an overview of the issues that schools are facing with cyberbullying, touches on some recent cases and outlines a program that schools can use to educate their employees, lower the frequency and severity of Cyberbullying, as well as limit the schools' overall liability.                                                                                                                                                                                          


Wrongful Convictions: What Governmental Risk Pools, and the Public Entities They Insure, Need to Know
Issue:   May 2012
Author: Martin Hacala
For as long as criminal laws have been on the books, police, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges have made errors, resulting in wrongful convictions. Sometimes these errors result from good faith mistakes; other times from conscious wrongdoing. Generally-accepted statistics about the number of wrongful convictions are difficult to obtain, though the statistics that are available paint a sobering picture.                                                                                                                                                                                    


Making Generational Differences Work for You
Issue:      December 2011
Authors:  Abe KaneLauren Nevens
Trying to manage the four generations in today's workplace presents major challenges. Miscommunication and conflict, when generations collide, affect productivity, moral and even staff retention. Public Risk examines generational differences to reveal how shared experiences help shape these conflicts. It also uncovers the manner in which these differences manifest themselves in the workplace. Strategies and tips are provided for delivering constructive feedback as part of review process to each generation. Lastly, insights on how an awareness of generational differences will help create more relevant training sessions and 'add traction' are also included.