Legal expert Sterling Miller writes in a recent post about the top 10 things legal counsel should weigh in their risk management/emergency preparedness plans. Miller recommends David Olive for in-depth information on the critical role SAFETY Act designation and/or certification plays in effective preparedness and liability coverage. Check out the full post – it’s worth a read.
Ten Things: Preparing for When ‘Bad Things’ Happen
One of the most important tasks you have as in-house counsel is to help ensure that your company is prepared for when disaster — man-made or natural — strikes. Protection of your fellow employees and corporate assets/shareholder value should always be top of mind. In some companies, planning for disaster falls within the Risk Management Department, in others it’s a mixture of different departments, including the Legal Department. Some companies simply have not gotten around to planning for disaster. Regardless of where your company sits on this continuum, Legal has a role to play in assisting the company plan for dealing with a crisis. If not already the case, you should ensure Legal has a seat at the table for such planning. This edition of Ten Things discusses things you can do as in-house counsel to help the business plan for when bad things happen.
I would like to give special mention to the “SAFETY Act.” This little known program of the U.S. Government provides protections to a wide range of technologies (including products, services, software, etc.) that are designed to identify, detect, deter, or respond to harm arising from an act of terrorism. If your products or services are “designated” by the government under this program then, in the event of a terrorist act, the following apply: 1) liability is limited to the amount of insurance recommended by Homeland Security; 2) no joint and several liability for non-economic damages, 3) no punitive damages or pre-judgment interest, and 4) any recovery is reduced by amounts from collateral sources. If your products are “certified” then there is complete immunity. This program should be very appealing to a lot of businesses (and may even provide competitive advantages). For example, and one most pertinent given the attacks in Paris, sports venues can obtain SAFETY designation or certification. A number of U.S. sports leagues and venues (and other businesses) are now designated or certified. For more about this program generally, I recommend you speak with Mr. David Olive of Catalyst Partners in Washington, D.C. Other governments may have similar programs (or other programs relevant to this discussion and it’s always worth finding out as those resources are usually very well prepared and free).
Read the full post.