Chris Confer and Stephanie Blaylock recently gave two presentations in Omaha, Nebraska at the American Association of Railroads’
During the first of their presentations, Mr. Confer and Ms. Blaylock provided the audience members with initial information that traditionally would be provided to claims specialists, information that would be learned throughout discovery, as well as last-minute evidence that may be uncovered at or shortly before trial (and subsequently admitted at trial). Conference attendees were divided into six sub-groups for them to discuss and assess the information as it was presented, which facilitated an ultimate discussion of why each sub-group did what it did in terms of each sub-group’s evaluation of the facts and monetary exposure and allowed for a conversation about how all of the provided material impacted those sub-groups’ case evaluation, as well as jury behavior, and jury verdict results in the real world.
In their second presentation, they discussed emerging technologies being actively utilized in railroad operations, as well as national case law that impacts the claims investigation and claims resolution processes that stand to impact AAR-members’ railroad claims departments. Specifically, discussion was had about recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have potentially impacted the doctrines of federal preemption or claim preclusion and long term viability of Chevron and it’s progeny.
The feedback from both presentations was overwhelmingly positive. We always enjoy the opportunity to present at the AAR Claims School, and the claims specialists at this year’s conference were a very engaged group that asked insightful questions. But most importantly, we are hopeful that Mr. Confer and Ms. Blaylock’s presentations will prove useful to the attending AAR claims specialists when they return to work for their respective carriers.