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Firm News

News about our firm and from around the Subrogation World

RMI AWARDS & PRESENTATIONS AT NASP 20th ANNUAL CONFERENCE

NASP 20th Awards

This past month the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) held its 20th annual conference in Orlando, Florida. RMI has been involved in NASP since its inception and was proud to be part of the 20 year celebration of subrogation professionals. Attorneys from our property and auto divisions were also presenters at the conference.

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At the Sunday night reception, NASP President Kevin DeGarmo presented RMI partners Glenna Roberts and David Matejczyk with 20 year perfect attendance awards.  Dave was the conference chair at the inaugural (and two subsequent) NASP Annual Conferences. Both are past board members of the organization.

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The following morning, RMI Attorney Amanda Martanovic received her Certified Subrogation Recovery Professional (CSRP) designation.  Amanda oversees the automobile subrogation division at RMI. Amanda was also a co-presenter in the automobile track at the conference. The session “Let’s Play Categories: Dealing with Challenging Insureds” explored multiple issues involving auto subrogation.

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In the property track, David Matejczyk along with nationally known expert Jerry Tindal, PE presented a program “Propane Explosions, Essential Elements to a Successful Investigation and Subrogation Recovery.” The presentation involved investigation and fact patterns on propane explosions, distribution systems, portable cylinders, NFPA 54, NFPA 58 and federal regulations.  The program provided a checklist for adjusters on propane explosion cases, theories of liability and discovery needed for a successful recovery.

Finally, at the conclusion of the conference Glenna Roberts was a guest on a panel that explored the development and future of NASP and the subrogation industry. RMI is proud to be a charter member of NASP. Congratulations to NASP, Conference Chairs and all involved on another outstanding conference.

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AMANDA MARTANOVIC RECEIVES SUBROGATION CSRP DESIGNATION

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RMI Attorney Amanda Martanovic received her Certified Subrogation Recovery Professional (CSRP) designation at the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Annual Conference held this month in Orlando, Florida.

Attorney Martanovic oversees the automobile subrogation division at RMI.

The CSRP designation is a significant accomplishment in the subrogation field. The designation is awarded to industry professionals who have met stringent academic and experience requirements followed by passing a comprehensive examination of multiple subrogation topics.

The first step of the designation requires five years experience in the area of insurance subrogation.

Amanda first started her career in subrogation while clerking at RMI. Upon graduation, Amanda was a natural fit at the firm. She began litigating cases for insurers throughout the state of Ohio. In 2018, Amanda was named manager of the automobile subrogation division at the firm. In that role she continues to litigate cases throughout the state in addition to overseeing a team of paralegals in RMI’s auto recovery unit.

The CSRP exam consisted of mastering multiple subrogation topics including the role of subrogation in the insurance industry, legal liability, product liability, investigation and evidence, automobile subrogation, no-fault and medical payments subrogation, workers’ compensation subrogation, healthcare subrogation and subrogation management and information technology.

Amanda and other CSRP’s from across the nation were presented with their CSRP diplomas from NASP President Kevin DeGarmo at a ceremony starting the NASP 20th Annual Conference held in Orlando, Florida on November 12, 2018.

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RMI SETTLES $550,000.00 GAS EXPLOSION CASE: Second large loss gas explosion settlement in back to back months

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RMI in back to back months has recovered by way of settlement two significant six digit gas explosion cases.

This past month the firm settled a natural gas explosion that destroyed an insured’s commercial building in Columbus, Ohio. The previous month RMI resolved a residential explosion that completely destroyed a home. On both losses, the firm was retained within twenty-four hours after the explosions.

The $550,000.00 commercial building settlement was very close to the calculated actual cash value of the loss.

Despite being on site immediately, there was “catch up” involved as the gas company had already commenced return to service repairs.

The loss involved a main gas line servicing several city blocks. Luckily, an evacuation of the insured’s building occurred minutes prior to the blast that rocked the downtown area. The blast destroyed the insured’s building and displaced multiple commercial tenants.

“This type of explosion involved issues including the national fuel gas code, excavation/boring, contracts, Ohio Utility Protection Service, and related state regulations and laws,” noted RMI partner David Matejczyk. The experts retained on our client’s behalf did an excellent job working with our office.

The firm spent multiple days on site ensuring proper scene and evidence preservation, initial investigation and documentation with experts immediately retained. The loss involved three separate joint scene examinations. All told, RMI coordinated exams involving 34 parties and representatives of involved or impacted entities and governmental officials.

The firm had a tight deadline to work with given safety, condemnation and demolition orders issued by the local government.

The case was handled by RMI partners David Matejczyk and Glenna Roberts.

The month prior RMI obtained a significant six digit recovery on a residential gas explosion. That case involved servicing issues with respect to NFPA 54.

The residential explosion was litigated by RMI attorneys David Matejczyk and Dustin Smith.

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NEW OHIO LAW IMPACTS DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS: Governor Signs “Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative”

 

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August, 2018

Every auto subrogation professional handling Ohio claims should be aware of a new law aimed at making it easier for suspended drivers to get back on the road.

Governor John Kasich on August 3, 2018 signed into law House Bill 336, known as the “Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative.” The new law will require the Ohio Registrar of Motor Vehicles to establish a 6 month driver’s license reinstatement fee reduction and amnesty program.

For those subrogation professionals who use license suspensions as a method of recovery, this is a law that needs their attention. Under this new statute, individuals with suspended licenses who have committed an “eligible offense” can apply to the Ohio BMV to either have their reinstatement fees reduced or have the fees waived completely if they meet various criteria.

Most eligible offenses are moving violations, but certain eligible offenses that have an impact on subrogation recoveries include: R.C. 4509.101 (Operating vehicle without proof of insurance), R.C. 4509.24 (Default on a payment that was required by written agreement after a motor vehicle accident) and R.C. 4509.40 (Nonpayment of Judgment). It is important to note that an eligible offense does not include an offense that involves alcohol, drug abuse, or a deadly weapon.

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Additionally, under this new law, there are certain criteria an individual must meet before having their reinstatement fees reduced.  A suspended driver must have completed all court-ordered sanctions related to the eligible offense other than the payment of reinstatement fees. Additionally, at least eighteen months must have expired since the end of the period of suspension ordered by the Court. For an individual to apply to have their reinstatement fees waived, the person must prove they are indigent by showing they are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”).

The new law impacts the state reinstatement fees but does not address the requirement of a payment arrangement with the insurer. What the new law does is make it easier for individuals with license suspensions to overcome the reinstatement fee hurdle to get their licenses back. It is hoped that additional subrogation recovery opportunities may result as suspended drivers will be more willing to set up a payment arrangement if they know they can bypass the reinstatement fees.

The new law had bipartisan support in the Ohio legislature. The Registrar of Motor Vehicles has 90 days to implement this new program and run it for 6 months, however, lawmakers hope to introduce legislation next year that will make the program permanent.

If you have questions regarding the new law, contact RMI Attorney Amanda Martanovic at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.m@ohiosubro.com

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Attorney Amanda Martanovic, CSRP, heads the automobile subrogation division at RMI.   

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“BURN IT TO LEARN IT” LIVE BURN SEMINAR A SUCCESS - 150 Attendees at Ohio Event

 

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RMI was pleased to participate and co-sponsor “Burn it – to Learn it” - a day long information packed fire investigation and insurance subrogation/adjuster seminar.

The event featured a morning classroom program addressing legal and insurance issues.  The program was held at the Norwich Township and Fire Department state-of-the-art training facility. A live burn was held in the afternoon at the adjacent Franklin County Fairgrounds. The program was attended by approximatey150 representatives of the insurance industry (adjusters, subrogation units and in-house counsel), agents, property managers and local fire officials.

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The classroom portion featured insurance issues including proper and compliant notice, roles and duties of the front line adjuster & subrogation unit, scene preservation, avoidance of bad faith claims, impacted third parties, losses involving injuries and proper damage documentation.

RMI partner David Matejczyk was a presenter on the insurance and legal issues from a fire loss.

Tom Bensen, CFI, CFEI, CVFI of Bensen Fire & Safety Consulting provided an analysis of identification of fire origin, spread and responsibility. Representatives of Thompson Building Associates – ResQ24 discussed proper securing of loss sites to prevent spoliation and liability issues. The morning program featured a discussion among industry personnel in attendance on the proper and safe mechanics of a fire investigation – from loss notice until release of the scene for restoration.

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After a barbecue lunch the program moved to the adjacent Franklin County Fairgrounds, where sponsors Thompson Building with materials from Holmes Lumber and Lifestyle Floring had prepared two pods for a live burn.

The live burn was coordinated by Bensen Fire & Safety with the assistance of the Norwich Township Fire Department.

Following extinguishment of the fires by the Norwich Fire Department, the burn patterns and other issues involved in a fire loss origin and cause determination were explored.

RMI would like to thank all involved for their participation in this successful event, and especially Michelle Hoffman of Thompson Building Associates.

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Program Sponsors....

Sponsors

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