What The Apollo Astronauts Did For Life Insurance : Planet Money : NPR

What The Apollo Astronauts Did For Life Insurance : Planet Money : NPR.


Chocolate May Reduce Stroke Risk

In a prospective, longitudinal study, those who consumed a median 62.9 g of chocolate a week were at a significantly lower relative stroke risk than those who ate a median of zero grams weekly RR 0.83, 95% CI 0.7 to 0.99, according to Susanna Larsson, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues.

via Chocolate Each Day May Keep Strokes Away.

Please pass the M&M’s.

Reumofan Plus – Why You Should Not Buy Nor Use This Supplement

BACKGROUND: Reumofan Plus is marketed as a natural dietary supplement for pain relief. Reumofan Plus is labeled in Spanish and promoted for treating arthritis, muscle pain, osteoporosis, bone cancer, and other conditions. The product is manufactured in Mexico by Riger Naturals and sold in some retail outlets, at flea markets, and on various internet sites. FDA has worked closely with the Mexican government on this matter. The Mexican Ministry of Health has issued a health warning to the public and ordered Riger Naturals to recall the product.

Since June 1, 2012, when FDA first warned the public about the dangers of these supplements, the agency has received reports of fatalities, stroke, severe bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, dizziness, insomnia, high blood sugar levels and problems with liver and kidney functions,as well as corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome

via Safety Alerts for Human Medical Products > Reumofan Plus: Recall – Undeclared Drug Ingredient.

St. Jude Medical Riata Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator ICD Leads – Premature Insulation Failure

ISSUE: The Food and Drug Administration FDA is providing information and recommendations regarding safety concerns with the recalled Riata leads. These leads have an increased risk of premature insulation failure that can impact the lead’s ability to function properly.


According to St. Jude Medical, as of 2011, approximately 79,000 Riata leads remained implanted in patients in the United States.

via Safety Alerts for Human Medical Products > St. Jude Medical Riata Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator ICD Leads: Safety Communication – Premature Insulation Failure.

Bear this in mind when you’re underwriting pacemaker cases.

How a Lawyer Exploited the Fine Print and Found Himself Facing Federal Charges – ProPublica

ProPublica has taken a close look at the Caramadre case because it offers a window into a larger issue: The transformation of the life insurance industry away from its traditional business of insuring lives to peddling complex financial products. This shift has not been a smooth one. Particularly during the lead up to the financial crisis, companies wrote billions worth of contracts that now imperil their financial health.

In a series of detailed interviews, Caramadre said the companies designed the rules; all he did was exploit them. Their hunger for profits in a period of dizzying growth and competition, he contends, left them vulnerable to someone with his unusual acumen. The companies have argued in court that Caramadre is a fraud artist who should return every last dime he made. In his rulings to date, the federal judge hearing the civil cases has agreed with Caramadre’s contention that he was doing what the fine print allowed.

via Death Takes a Policy: How a Lawyer Exploited the Fine Print and Found Himself Facing Federal Charges – ProPublica.

by Jake Bernstein
ProPublica, Aug. 24, 2012

Well written and well researched, this article is worth reading.  An article from the Wall Street Journal in 2010 also makes for good reading and that link is below.

Investors Recruit Terminally Ill to Outwit Insurers on Annuities – WSJ.com.

GableGotwals Insurance Law Update

In insurance “bad faith” cases, the main issue is typically whether the insurer, in addressing the claim of its insured, acted reasonably and in good faith, or whether its conduct was unreasonable and in “bad faith.”  In order to address these issues, courts sometimes allow testimony from so-called “bad faith” experts to address insurer practices and industry standards.  The Tenth Circuit, and Oklahoma federal courts, have been reluctant to allow such expert evidence, as was recently found in Higgins v. State Farm Property & Casualty Insurance Co., 2012 WL 2369007 (N.D. Okla. June 21, 2012).  In Higgins, the court rejected testimony from experts by both parties as to claims handling standards and bad faith.  Higgins involved an insurer’s denial of uninsured motorist benefits relating to a motor vehicle accident of its insured.  The plaintiff in Higgins sponsored a practicing attorney who had many years of experience litigating insurance claims as…

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