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The Cost of Confidentiality
Generic boilerplate settlement releases that contain terms of confidentiality will implicate tax consequences, as illustrated by Amos v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Generally, the proceeds of a settlement agreement for a personal injury case have been excludable from the Plaintiff’s calculation of gross income.
An anomaly to that rule arose in a personal injury settlement between Dennis Rodman and Eugene Amos, a television cameraman that Rodman had kicked in the groin, during an NBA basketball game on January 15, 1997. Rodman received an 11-game suspension for kicking Amos, and was also required to undergo, perhaps belatedly, psychiatric counseling.
The Admissibility of Surveillance Evidence in Defense of Personal Injury Litigation
Without question, surveillance evidence can be a formidable tool in defending personal injury litigation.
It typically takes the form of a video of a personal injury Plaintiff engaging in physical activities in contradiction of the allegations in Plaintiff’s personal injury Complaint, Plaintiff’s answers to discovery requests, and Plaintiff’s deposition testimony. Such surveillance can provide either demonstrative evidence, or impeachment, and is useful to prove that the Plaintiff’s physical condition is other than what the Plaintiff might represent to the jury, or the factfinder.
Insurer’s Duty To Defend Under Donegal V. Baumhammers
Decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on December 27, 2007, Donegal v. Baumhammers, et al, 893 A.2d, 797 (Pa. Super. 2006) deals with the insurance carrier’s duty to defend insureds, under a homeowner’s policy, against personal injury claims brought against the insureds’ son, who, on April 28, 2000, went on a shooting spree, resulting in his killing five people, wounding another, and also setting fire to the first victim’s home.
Stacking of Commercial UM/UIM Policies
Under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (PMVFRL), 75 Pa. C.S. § 1701-1799.7, “stacking” permits a person, or persons, fitting the definition of “insured” under uninsured or underinsured coverages, to add coverages from either other vehicles and/or other insurance policies, to provide a greater aggregate of available benefits to an “insured” seeking coverage as a result of an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured tortfeasor.