The NextGen Task Force wasted no time and came quick out of the gate in 2022 with an education webinar on January 26th. The webinar brought together AIRROC’s NextGen Task Force and the IRLA Young Professionals Group (“YPG”) to compare and contrast the UK and the US perspectives for two big claims issues – abuse/molestation and sports head injuries. Hosted by AIRROC and co-chaired by Richard Burrows from IRLA YPG and Katie Reynolds from AIRROC NextGen, the webinar drew on the expertise of several panelists. A video replay of this webinar is available on the AIRROC On Demand platform.
Panelists for abuse/molestation included Nicola Aspinwall, Associate Solicitor at BLM Law (UK) and Kristen Kish, Associate, Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass LLP (US). The presenters highlighted current limitations, recent statutory changes, and the types of damages typically available to survivors. Several key cases discussed included the Boy Scouts of America and claims against clergy, as well as proposed US legislation regarding forced arbitration. Wrapping up the topic, the panelist addressed the issue of vicarious liability, its triggers, and how recent case law has changed the way in which it is established in sexual abuse cases.
Sports head injuries panelists included Stephen Bellingham, Strategy Head – Disease and Injury at Pro Global (UK) and Heather Simpson, Partner at Kennedys (US). Recent publicity surrounding these claims were spotlighted, as well as relevant conditions associated with sports head injuries and past and current head trauma litigations. Although litigation for sports head injury in the US dates back to 2011, with claimants hailing from many professional, collegiate and youth sports organizations, these claims are much newer in the UK and are currently limited to rugby. Mr. Bellingham gave many insights into why this is, and also why US outcomes are not necessarily an indication of how UK cases might develop.
In addition to the webinar, Season 2 of our podcast – AIRROC’s The Legacy Life – went live on February 16th. The new season kicks off with Glen Mulready, Insurance Commissioner for the State of Oklahoma. Commissioner Mulready is instrumental in the development and implementation of the Insurance Business Transfers (“IBT”) Act. In the episode, Commissioner Mulready discusses his responsibilities as the Insurance Commissioner and his focus on consumer protection. When asked about his career path, Commissioner Mulready shares how he started in insurance, his experiences with various insurance products, his roles across different functional areas, and his career progression in the business – all of which laid a solid foundation for him to be elected as Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner.
Through his work with the Oklahoma Insurance Department, Commissioner Mulready has expanded internship opportunities in his department and is exploring the possibility of holding a “next gen” type conference for young professionals. His department has also begun working with school-aged children to create awareness of the insurance industry. He notes: “We have an employee who is out in the schools, even at the elementary school level, doing Insurance 101… We’re trying to reach…kids in the classroom in different settings.” Commissioner Mulready believes that creating opportunities to expose young people to the many facets of the insurance industry is a great way to generate interest and bring more new talent to the space.