Teslas running Autopilot involved in 273 crashes reported since last year

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/15/tesla-autopilot-crashes/

Excerpt:

Tesla vehicles running its Autopilot software have been involved in 273 reported crashes over roughly the past year, according to regulators, far more than previously known and providing concrete evidence regarding the real-world performance of its futuristic features.

The numbers, which were published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the first time Wednesday, show that Tesla vehicles made up nearly 70 percent of the 392 crashes involving advanced driver-assistance systems reported since last July, and a majority of the fatalities and serious injuries — some of which date back further than a year. Eight of the Tesla crashes took place before June 2021, according to data released by NHTSA on Wednesday morning.

Previously, NHTSA said it had probed 42 crashes potentially involving driver assistance, 35 of which included Tesla vehicles, in a more limited data set that stretched back to 2016.

Of the six fatalities listed in the data set published Wednesday, five were tied to Tesla vehicles — including a July 2021 crash involving a pedestrian in Flushing, Queens, and a fatal crash in March in Castro Valley, Calif. Some dated as far back as 2019.

Author(s): Faiz Siddiqui, Rachel Lerman and Jeremy B. Merrill

Publication Date: 15 Jun 2022

Publication Site: Washington Post

NHTSA Releases Initial Data on Safety Performance of Advanced Vehicle Technologies

Link: https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/initial-data-release-advanced-vehicle-technologies

Report for Level 2 ADAS: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/2022-06/ADAS-L2-SGO-Report-June-2022.pdf

Report for Levels 3-5: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/2022-06/ADS-SGO-Report-June-2022.pdf

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Today, as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to increase roadway safety and encourage innovation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published the initial round of data it has collected through its Standing General Order issued last year and initial accompanying reports summarizing this data.

The SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems summary report is available here, while the SAE Levels 3-5 automated driving systems summary report is available here. Going forward, NHTSA will release data updates monthly.

These data reflect a set of crashes that automakers and operators reported to NHTSA from the time the Standing General Order was issued last June. While not comprehensive, the data are important and provide NHTSA with immediate information about crashes that occur with vehicles that have various levels of automated systems deployed at least 30 seconds before the crash occurred.

“The data released today are part of our commitment to transparency, accountability and public safety,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Administrator. “New vehicle technologies have the potential to help prevent crashes, reduce crash severity and save lives, and the Department is interested in fostering technologies that are proven to do so; collecting this data is an important step in that effort. As we gather more data, NHTSA will be able to better identify any emerging risks or trends and learn more about how these technologies are performing in the real world.”

Publication Date: 15 June 2022

Publication Site: NHTSA

Geico ordered to pay $5.2M to woman who got HPV in a car

Link: https://www.autoblog.com/2022/06/08/insurance-company-payout-hpv-car-sex/

Excerpt:

Per The Kansas City Star, the woman initiated a claim with Geico in February 2021 after learning that she’d contracted the sexually transmitted infection from a partner who knew but did not disclose his status. Since the incident in question happened in her partner’s car, she argued that his liability insurance was responsible for damages. A settlement was reportedly offered to Geico, whose lawyers declined. As anybody who’s had legal entanglements with an insurance company can probably guess, the case went to arbitration.

In what we’re certain was a surprise to Geico’s legal team, arbitration did not go their way. The woman’s partner was found liable and the arbitrator approved an award of $5.2 million in damages to be paid out by the insurer despite requests by Geico for a new hearing. The insurance company appealed to the courts on several grounds, claiming that the process denied it the ability to have its day in court. The company’s appeal was denied on all points.

Author(s): Byron Hurd

Publication Date: 8 June 2022

Publication Site: Autoblog

Jerry Theodorou Presents on Social Inflation to the Business Insurance World Captive Forum

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HahkUnXje1A

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R Street Institute Director of Finance, Insurance and Trade Jerry Theodorou presents on social inflation and his latest policy study to the Business Insurance World Captive Forum in Miami in February.

Author(s): Jerry Theodorou

Publication Date: 23 Feb 2022

Publication Site: YouTube and R Street Institute

THE SCOURGE OF SOCIAL INFLATION

Link:https://www.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/RSTREET247.pdf

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If unchecked, social inflation, driven by the myriad factors discussed in this study, will become a self-perpetuating phenomenon that sends improper signals regarding the value of damages to jurors, judges and defendants. This will lead to higher insurance premiums, financial strain on insurers, depletion of municipal resources and disincentives for businesses to take risks. This hidden “tort tax” benefits no one except plaintiff attorneys and their clients who engage in practices that lead to social inflation.

There are two broad responses that need to be pursued to combat the perpetuation of social inflationary pressures. One is to influence the development of public policy at the state and federal levels to reveal and control excesses. The second is for insurers and defense counsel to adopt and deploy more aggressive strategies that push back and formally object to tactics violating existing norms of courtroom behavior.

Author(s): Jerry Theodorou

Publication Date: December 2021

Publication Site: R Street

When Will The FDA Approve Paxlovid?

Link: https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/when-will-the-fda-approve-paxlovid

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For context: a recent study by Pfizer, the pharma company backing the drug, found Paxlovid decreased hospitalizations and deaths from COVID by a factor of ten, with no detectable side effects. It was so good that Pfizer, “in consultation with” the FDA, stopped the trial early because it would be unethical to continue denying Paxlovid to the control group. And on November 16, Pfizer officially submitted an approval request to the FDA, which the FDA is still considering.

As many people including ZviAlex, and Kelsey have noted, it’s pretty weird that the FDA agrees Paxlovid is so great that it’s unethical to study it further because it would be unconscionable to design a study with a no-Paxlovid control group – but also, the FDA has not approved Paxlovid, it remains illegal, and nobody is allowed to use it.

One would hope this is because the FDA plans to approve Paxlovid immediately. But the prediction market expects it to take six weeks – during which time we expect about 50,000 more Americans to die of COVID.

Perhaps there’s not enough evidence for the FDA to be sure Paxlovid works yet? But then why did they agree to stop the trial that was gathering the evidence? Or perhaps there’s enough evidence, but it takes a long time to process it? But then how come the prediction markets are already 90% sure what decision they’ll make?

Author(s): Scott Alexander

Publication Date: 22 Nov 2021

Publication Site: Astral Codex Ten

The Cost of Insuring Colleges Continues to Rise. And Covid’s Not the Reason.

Link: https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-cost-of-insuring-colleges-continues-to-rise-and-covids-not-the-reason?cid2=gen_login_refresh&cid=gen_sign_in

Excerpt:

Colleges face an increasingly complex and unpredictable array of challenges — abuse, harassment, assault, police misconduct, accidents, health and environmental hazards, fiduciary wrongdoing, the pandemic — that are making it more difficult to calculate risk and insure against it.

That’s a big part of why annual insurance premiums have gone up by double digits in recent years. John McLaughlin, senior managing director of the higher-education practice at Gallagher, an insurance brokerage and risk-management and consulting firm, says those increases range between an average of 10 and 35 percent across an institution’s insurance portfolio.

….

But what’s striking is that just behind enrollment on colleges’ list of worries are two areas that are not directly related to Covid: data security and Title IX. That’s according to an annual survey by United Educators, which provides liability insurance and risk-management services for its member colleges and schools. The survey was conducted from May 2019 through September 2020, as the coronavirus crisis unfolded, and 480 United Educators member institutions responded.

Author(s): Alexander C. Kafka

Publication Date: 3 March 2021

Publication Site: Chronicle of Higher Education

Covid Madness: People Fleeing a Volcanic Eruption Can’t Board the Rescue Vessels Until Vaccinated

Excerpt:

The volcano on the Caribbean Island of St Vincent has erupted. Cruise liners and Ferries are rushing to the scene to evacuate people caught by the eruption – but people are not allowed to board the cruise liners until they receive a Covid vaccination.

….

In normal circumstances people are just evacuated from a deadly disaster zones, nobody refuses anyone because they might be sick. Sick people are given medical attention if required.

But because the world has become obsessed with a disease which kills up to 1% of victims, there is a real possibility that people fleeing a natural disaster will be told they have to stay and die, unless they receive an experimental and potentially life threatening medication.

As I said, not the rescuers fault – they are the meat in the sandwich. If they don’t insist on vaccination, their reward for compassion and heroism could be to be stuck in the ocean, nobody willing to take the evacuated islanders.

Author(s): Eric Worrall

Publication Date: 11 April 2021

Publication Site: Watt’s Up With That

How to keep thousands of COVID-19-related lawsuits from creating a liability crisis

Link: https://www.rstreet.org/2021/03/29/how-to-keep-thousands-of-covid-19-related-lawsuits-from-creating-a-liability-crisis/

Excerpt:

Younger, populist, anti-corporate juries are more prone to make larger awards than baby boomer jury pools. Plaintiff attorneys making good use of the “reptile theory” to provoke jurors to punish defendants painted as dangerous to society have led to staggeringly large verdicts. The combined impact of these trends has led to more and larger lawsuits, as well as year-over-year increases in “nuclear verdicts” — verdicts in excess of $10 million.

Some elements of the COVID-19 litigation torrent fit squarely in Buffet’s meaning of social inflation: expansion of what insurance policies cover. To be sure, the plurality of the 10,000 coronavirus suits filed involve insurance coverage litigation, with plaintiffs seeking coverage for business losses in policies where insurers maintain coverage does not exist.

Author(s): Jerry Theodorou

Publication Date: 29 March 2021

Publication Site: R Street

Senators quiz insurers on climate-related underwriting

Link: https://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20210326/NEWS06/912340735/Senators-quiz-insurers-on-climate-related-underwriting

Additional link: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b7c9307f79392b49031d551/t/605cf32f9d526442eb0bca0c/1616704303928/Senators%27+Letter+-+Chubb.pdf

Excerpt:

Democratic lawmakers have called on U.S. insurers including American International Group Inc., Berkshire Hathaway, Chubb Ltd., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., MetLife Inc. and Travelers Cos. Inc. to explain how their fossil fuel underwriting policies align with their commitments to sustainability.

In a letter dated March 24, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, and Senators Jeffrey A. Merkley, D-Oregon, Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, request information on each insurer’s fossil fuel underwriting and investment policies.

“An increasing number of your competitors have stopped underwriting coal and other fossil fuel projects and/or restricted their investments in coal and certain dirty and environmentally damaging oil and gas projects such as tar sands,” the letter said.

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Author(s): Claire Wilkinson

Publication Date: 26 March 2021

Publication Site: Business Insurance

Report: FBI Now Probing Cuomo’s Corporate Immunity Law

Link: https://www.dailyposter.com/p/report-fbi-now-probing-cuomos-corporate

Excerpt:

The probe follows a Daily Poster investigative series detailing how one of Cuomo’s biggest donors, the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) — a lobby group that represents hospital systems and nursing home operators — said it “drafted and aggressively advocated for” the corporate immunity provision. Cuomo’s administration quietly inserted the measure into his state’s budget as thousands lay dying from COVID-19 in New York nursing homes. 

Critics say that the immunity law removed a key deterrent to corporate malfeasance, and victims and their families were subsequently stripped of their legal rights. Cuomo’s original executive order shielding front line health care workers from lawsuits was widely reported, but not the governor’s separate budget language extending immunity to hospital and nursing home corporations’ executives and board members. 

Author(s): David Sirota, Joel Warner, Andrew Perez, Julia Rock

Publication Date: 18 March 2021

Publication Site: Daily Poster

DiNapoli: DOH Needs to Step Up Enforcement of Patient Safety Violations

Link: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/2021/03/dinapoli-doh-needs-step-enforcement-patient-safety-violations

Excerpt:

The State Department of Health (DOH) has failed to hold accountable certain health care providers including hospitals, nursing homes and individual nurses, for patient safety violations and use its power under the law to impose stronger fines. Additionally, DOH does not ensure amounts collected are directed to increase patient safety, as required, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Lisa’s Law was created to make health care in New York safer and give patients the knowledge they need to make informed decisions,” DiNapoli said. “The Department of Health generally has improved the public’s access to health care information. Too often, however, it gives negligent health care providers a slap on the wrist by not issuing financial penalties that can act as a deterrent against future incidents and help fund improvements in patient safety. DOH needs to do better.”

Author(s): Thomas DiNapoli

Publication Date: 10 March 2021

Publication Site: Office of the NY State Comptroller