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Changing Employers? Keep Your Tail Covered!

A common question regarding employment, and particularly changes in employment, revolves around the idea of tail insurance coverage.  As such, this issue’s legal column explores what tail coverage is, why you need it, and who pays for it.

In general, there are two types of medical malpractice insurance policies: (1) claims made policies and (2) occurrence policies.  If an advanced practice nurse (“APN”) has a “claims made policy,” this means that the insurance will cover any claims that are made against the APN while that policy is in effect.  However, it will not cover claims that are made after the policy is terminated (i.e. the APN moves to a new practice or the practice changes carriers).  Anyone with a “claims made” policy should purchase a “tail” policy to be effective once the original policy ends.  The tail policy will extend insurance coverage for a set amount of time in order to protect the APN against lawsuits that may be brought at a later date even though the original policy is no longer in effect.  This tail should be purchased regardless of specialty.  In general, it is best to negotiate who is responsible for purchasing the tail before entering into an employment agreement.  Otherwise, the APN will likely hold full responsibility for purchasing the tail, unless his/her new employer will purchase it or a severance package can be negotiated with the former employer that includes tail coverage.

If an APN has an “occurrence policy,” this means that the insurance will cover any claims made against the APN for incidents that occurred while the policy was in place.  (A lawsuit will still be covered after the policy ends, so long as the actual incident at issue occurred while the policy was in effect.)  In this case, there is no need to purchase a tail policy, because the occurrence policy will continue to protect the APN for incidents that happened while the policy was in place.  This type of policy is becoming rare.  Most places now carry a “claims made” policy, but there are a few “occurrence policies” still used.

SHORT ANSWER:  Anyone coming off of a “claims made policy” should purchase a tail.

STRATEGIC TIP:  It is best to negotiate who will buy the tail during employment contract negotiations before employment even commences.  There are many ways this can be structured.

Article by Jeana M. Singleton taken from the OAAPN Newsletter Challenge, September 2009

Jury Awards Care Center $225,000

Congratulations to Scott Sandrock on the jury verdict in favor of our client. The verdict stems from the lawsuit filed on behalf of our client against Spectrum Cable for fraud in connection with business services. The jury awarded Plaintiff $22,000 for compensatory damages, plus $225,000 in punitive damages and recovery of attorney fees in favor of our client.

BMD Beefs Up its Attorney Force with 7 New Hires

Founded in 2000 by three entrepreneurial and business-minded attorneys to provide a legal platform for companies and entrepreneurs in a wide variety of industries, Brennan Manna Diamond (BMD) has been in growth mode ever since. The firm, which began in Akron with just seven attorneys, now has three Ohio and two Florida offices as well as an international location in Shanghai, China through a joint venture with the law firm Jade & Fountain. BMD recently added seven more lawyers, six who are located in the Akron office.

Akron Devil Strip Becomes First US News Co-op

Starting Nov. 1, Akronites can become part owners of The Akron Devil Strip. With the legal guidance of BMD's legal team, Matthew A. Heinle, Esq. and Michael D. De Matteis, Esq., the arts and culture magazine is breaking ground as the first news co-op in the United States.

Community Legal Aid honoring BMD Attorneys Duriya Dhinojwala and Michael Steel "Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year"

Community Legal Aid honoring BMD Attorneys Duriya Dhinojwala and Michael Steel "Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year"

Brennan Manna Diamond Welcomes Seven New Attorneys

Brennan Manna Diamond (BMD) is pleased to welcome the following attorneys: in our Akron office, Blake R. Gerney, David J. Hrina, Matthew R. Duncan, Hamilton DeSaussure, Jr., Stephen E. Matasich and Paul C. Filon; and in our Cleveland office, Russell T. Rendall.