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Recent Developments In New Hampshire Law

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  1. •Liability Cases •New Statutes •Pending Legislation Recent Developments In New Hampshire Law Presented by: Laurence W. Getman, Esq.

  2. The Superior Court has authority under RSA 542:8 to review all final decisions of an arbitration panel, including a decision to withdraw an award. Corcoran v. HarmonNo. 2005-726 (Nov. 28, 2006)

  3. Doctrine of Res Judicata did not operate to bar claims that could have been raised as permissive cross claims in a prior proceeding. Meier v. Town of LittletonNo. 2005-399 (Nov. 3, 2006)

  4. A defendant’s knowledge that its product may be distributed in the forum state is not sufficient to establish jurisdiction. Vermont Wholesale Building Products, Inc. v. J.W. Jones Lumber Co., Inc.No. 2006-144 (Dec. 21, 2006)

  5. Lawsuit barred for failure to serve defendant at current address within statutory limitations period despite attempted service at defendant’s former address. Nault v. TiradoNo. 2006-548 (May 15, 2007)

  6. Town not liable under either dog control law or a common law duty theory for property damage caused by stray dog. Cui v. Chief, Barrington Police DepartmentNo. 2006-430 (May 15, 2007)

  7. Excuse Me!

  8. Municipality not liable under RSA 507-B:2 for negligence of firefighters since firefighting operations did not constitute “ownership, occupation, maintenance or operation” of the premises. Farm Family Casualty Ins. Co. as Subrogee of Marc & Deborah Janetos v. Town of RollinsfordNo. 2006-791 (July 17, 2007)

  9. New Hampshire’s Consumer Protection Act does not impose strict liability for misrepresentations made in good faith. Kelton v. Hollis Ranch, LLCNo. 2006-743 (July 17, 2007)

  10. Landlords owe no duty to prevent foreseeable criminal attack on tenant in the absence of either: A defective condition on the premises that foreseeably increased the risk of criminal attack; or 2) The breach of an express agreement by the landlord to provide security. Ward v. Inishmann Associates Ltd Partnership, et alNo. 2006-284 (Aug. 22, 2007)

  11. Security Against Criminal Matters

  12. Defendant is entitled to a credit against arbitration award for amounts paid to the plaintiff by settling tortfeasors. Tiberghein v. B.R. Jones Roofing Co.No. 2006-657 (Aug. 28, 2007)

  13. Injury to public employee while attempting to repair traffic light damaged by truck driver was not reasonably foreseeable. Macie v. HelmsNo. 2007-792 (Sept. 21, 2007)

  14. A settling tortfeasor cannot be required to actively participate in litigation under Nilsson/DeBenedetto Municipal police officers may be entitled to official immunity for certain discretionary acts and, if so, the municipality may be entitled to vicarious immunity. Everitt v. General Electric Co.No. 2006-481 (Sept. 21, 2007)

  15. Coverage Cases

  16. Uninsured Motorist Provisions of Personal Automobile Policy Were Ambiguous And Entitled Insured To Coverage For Injury Caused By Farm Wagon Being Towed Off-Road By Tractor Carter v. Concord General Mutual Insurance Company No. 2006-530 (May 30, 2007)

  17. Policy Language Prohibiting UIM Plaintiff From Receiving Duplicate Payment Under Medical Payments Provision Held Invalid Murley v. Hanover Insurance Co.No. 2006-613 (June 8, 2007)

  18. Insured Required To Actually Repair Or Replace Damaged Or Destroyed Dwelling In Order To Be Entitled To Replacement Cost Under Terms Of Homeowner’s Policy Nicolaou v. Vermont Mutual Ins. Co.No. 2006-651 (July 19, 2007)

  19. Accident Victim Who Was Struck By Hit & Run Vehicle After Being Thrown From His Motorcycle Was Not “Occupying” The Motorcycle For Purposes Of His Automobile Policy’s Owned Vehicle Exclusion. Estate of Miller v. Amica Mutual Insurance CompanyNo. 2006-904 (Aug. 28, 2007)

  20. New Statute Prohibits Knowingly Underestimating Claim Value Effective 01/01/08

  21. 1) Subpoenas 2) Reporting – you now have to report. Statutes Relative to the Investigation of Suspected Insurance Fraud Amended Effective 01/01/08

  22. Rejection must be in writing. Rejection applies to all future insureds/ vehicles under the policy. Statutes Requiring Increased Uninsured Coverage Limits by Umbrella and Excess Policies Amended Effective 09/11/07

  23. Cap now $275,000/$925,000 Municipalities/School Districts Liability Limits for Claims Against Local and State Governments Increased • Cap now $475,000/$3,750,000 • State Agencies Effective 07/17/07

  24. No refusal No increased rates Volunteer driver – w/o compensation for charitable organization New Statute Prohibits Refusal to Insure Volunteer Drivers Remainder of Statute Effective 07/01/07

  25. No double dipping Health carrier can’t claim med pay is primary New Statute Restricts Availability of Med Pay Benefits Effective 07/13/07

  26. Senate Bills SB 188 – Would subject insurance companies to Consumer Protection Act remedies for unfair claim practices. SB 32 – Would increase cap on small claims jurisdiction from $5,000 to $10,000. SB 150 – Would require that drivers who are residents of foreign countries have insurance coverage. Pending Legislations

  27. House Bills HB 143 – Would repeal the result of the DeBenedetto case by changing the definition of “party” in RSA 507:7-e HB 573 – Would permit a judgment creditor to request that a state agency refuse to renew a judgment debtor’s motor vehicle, occupational or recreation license or permit until the judgment is paid in full. Pending Legislations