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Posted in: 2020

Business-Interruption Claims and COVID 19: When Courts Interpret Direct Physical Loss as a Metaphysical Loss

In GEICO v. Moore, the Supreme Court of Virginia memorably held that “[c]ontracts of insurance . . . are not made by or for casuists or sophists, and the obvious meaning of their plain terms is not to be discarded for some curious, hidden sense, which nothing but the exigency of a hard case and the ingenuity […]

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The Dirty World of Staged Trucking Accidents – And How to Protect Your Fleet

The Dirty World of Staged Trucking Accidents – And How to Protect Your Fleet On November 10, 2020, a New Orleans personal injury attorney, Danny Patrick Keating, Jr. became the 33rd defendant charged in an ongoing investigation by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana into crime rings that stage accidents with tractor-trailers […]

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A Blow to Natural Selection – Failure to Wear a Seatbelt Bars a Workers’ Compensation Claim  

The Comp. defense, bar, a generally dry bunch, is all atwitter over the recent opinion by the Virginia Court of Appeals in Mizelle v. Holiday Ice Inc. and Graphic Arts Mutual Insurance Company. In that case the Virginia Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion of limited precedential effect, affirmed a denial by the Full Commission […]

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Hit a Truck, Get a Check: Nuclear Verdicts on the Rise

It is no secret that nuclear verdicts are on the rise in accident litigation across the United States. These “runaway” or “nuclear” verdicts are jury awards that exceed $10 million, and they are a major obstacle facing the trucking industry today.    On June 23, 2020, the American Transportation Research Institute (“ATRI”) released a report […]

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Drive Time Changes

“Drive time” can refer to the length of time it takes to get somewhere (I can already hear my toddler whining “are we there yet?”), a popular sports-talk radio show in Arkansas (the southern drawl of the callers-in undeniably exhorting that Malzahn lucked out from that shoulda-been fumble), or, in trucking circles, an aspect of […]

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Welcome Kevin Streit, Setliff Law’s new associate!

Setliff Law is pleased to announce that Kevin Streit has joined the firm as an  associate  who specializes in construction law, commercial litigation, insurance coverage,  employment  law and consumer protection law. Mr. Streit has practiced law as a civil litigator for twenty years, almost entirely representing the insurance industry in one capacity or another. For a […]

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Signs of the Apocalypse and the Freight Business –  Los Angeles is Burning

2020 is the year for signs of the end times.  Apart from rioting, a plague, economic collapse, three hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at once, religious and political leaders falling from grace, the West Coast of the US is on fire. A lot of our clients are in trucking and transportation, and the overwhelming majority are on the East Coast.  It might not […]

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Up a Highway Without a Pedal

The Virginia State Corporation Commission recently passed Administrative Letter 2020-06 ( which notes that, once insurers have made a liability determination that the insured is at fault for an accident, insurers are responsible to reimburse towing companies for “clean up and recovery costs,” which include “certain towing expenses.” In many cases, this is a relatively […]

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2020/21 Bring Changes to DUI Laws in Virginia

We all know that drunk driving is dangerous, but how dangerous is it? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that every 50 minutes, one person dies in a drunk driving-related incident. That’s around 30 people a day and almost 11,000 a year.  Drunk driving fatalities account for approximately 28 percent of all traffic […]

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Who Should a Casualty Insurer Invite to the “Dec Action” Party? Some Considerations

Litigators in Virginia who devote any of their practice to representing insurers, or insureds, in disputes over insurance coverage are intimately acquainted with the declaratory-judgment action, one of the most useful tools available for resolving thorny insurance questions.  If a “dec action” is filed in state court, Virginia law mandates that all parties having a […]

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