NRA Suspends Insurance Business, Settles NY State Suit

The Case: Approximately three months ago, New York state attorney general Letitia James sued to dissolve the National Rifle Association.

James accused the audience of widespread corruption that included offering insurance with no license. James claimed the NRA was \”misleading gun collectors, dealers, instructors, clubs and shows by promising coverage in the 'lowest possible cost' when the group typically kept between 13.7% and 21.9% of premiums paid,\” based on The Guardian.

It also reported that the state's insurance superintendent said NRA insurance \”illegally offered policyholders coverage for criminal defense costs and the 'intentional' use of firearms in shooting incidents.\” The NRA said hello offered insurance just like other affinity groups, didn't underwrite the insurance, and relied on experts to handle the process.

Scorecard: The NRA agreed to suspend its insurance program in New York for five years and pay a $2.5 million civil fine.

The Guardian reports: \”The settlement resolved charges within the NRA's two-decade relationship with insurance broker Lockton Cos, including the sale of 28,015 policies to New Yorkers and the NRA's receipt of more than $1.8m in associated royalties and fees.\” The NRA did not admit wrongdoing.

Takeaway: Dissolving the NRA was certainly a tall order and probably largely symbolic – particularly because the group has so much support. But getting the NRA agree to suspend insurance offerings in New York sends a message that unlicensed or unregulated insurance policies will not be honored.

Apple Settles New \”Battery Gate\” Case for $113M

The Case: Think your iPhone slows down as it ages? That’s on purpose. Apple admitted in 2021 to slowing the rate of iPhones to save life of the battery. That led to a $500 million settlement agreement with owners.

In another case, 34 states sued the company, hoping for additional retribution in an incident now nicknamed “Battery Gate.\”

The Verge reports: \”The states’ attorneys general had sued Apple for hiding both the throttling and battery degradation from iPhone owners, arguing that Apple 'fully understood' that by concealing the issues, it could spend a year profiting off of people who thought they needed to purchase a new iPhone, when they only really needed to replace their phone's battery to avoid throttling or unexpected shutdowns.\”

Scorecard: Apple appears poised to pay an additional $113 million to settle the states' claims.

Takeaway: Apple won’t need to admit wrongdoing and denied it concealed the issue. The settlement sounds large but is a drop in the bucket for Apple, which earned revenues of $64.7 billion in fiscal Q4 2021. If you think your phone was affected, you may make a claim here.

California Pot Delivery Allowed to Continue

The Case: In California, 25 local governments sued their state to halt home marijuana delivery.

Pot is legal in the state, but the League of California Cities and police chiefs complained that unrestricted home deliveries can lead to hidden pot transactions. The case was seen as a way to decide who exactly is within charge when a state law conflicts with local guidelines.

Scorecard: Fresno County Superior Court Judge Rosemary McGuire dismissed the case, keeping marijuana deliveries legal, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Takeaway: McGuire left the door available to the matter being revisited. She said the state regulation and local ordinances are not in direct conflict – which without a conflict, \”this matter isn't ripe for adjudication.\” So if a local government can prove a conflict in the future, the case could possibly wind up in court.

Flint Water Settlement Passes $600 Million

The Case: Inside a widely publicized case, the town of Flint, Michigan changed its water distribution resulting in widespread lead poisoning along with other contamination. Residents sued.

Scorecard: After the City of Flint and two other defendants joined the case, the settlement total hit $641 million.

Now the issue of legal fees has emerged.

USA Today reports: \”If attorneys would seek one-third of the total settlement – which is the cap on attorney fees referenced in a proposed notice to class members – that would amount to $213.7 million.\” The plaintiffs say they've reached a deal with attorneys but will file it in a separate filing.

Takeaway: Once attorneys fees are established, residents may finally get closer to knowing how much compensation they'll get from the catastrophe.

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