Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two stinking news stories

Lloyd's of London has agreed to insure a Dutch winemaker's nose for five million euros. According to the linked Reuters article that comes to about £3.9 million or -- at the rate our the value of the dollar is falling -- who knows how many dollars?

The valuable nose is attached to the face of Ilja Gort, the "owner of Chateau de la Garde in Bordeaux, producer of Tulipe Wines," who claims that his olfactory organ can "distinguish millions of different scents and was essential to guarantee the quality of his wines."

The Reuters story notes that this is far from the first body part to be insured by Lloyd's. It's not even the first nose -- Jimmy Durante's prominent proboscis was once protected as well.

This 2005 article on insure.com recounts other odd policies issued by Lloyd's underwriters -- such as alien abduction insurance.

The other 'stinking story' in the news was reported in the March 17, 2008 issue of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Patricia Manson's story reports on the 7th Circuit decision, released last Friday, affirming Judge Wayne R. Andersen's grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer in a suit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213, by Beverly Robinson. In her suit, Robinson claimed that her extreme sensitivity to perfumes and other fragrances amounted to a disability.

However, Robinson provided no medical evidence to back up her contention that she was allergic to perfumes and fragrances. Her treating physician never made that diagnosis, nor did she perform any tests to confirm Robinson's claims. The court found that her failure "to provide medical documentation to Discover would be fatal to her claim even if she was disabled; if a disabled employee's condition is unclear, the employee must provide medical clarification of the accommodations required in response to the employer's request."

The court's decision in Robinson v. Morgan Stanley & Co., 07-3359, is nonprecedential, but it may be reviewed in its entirety on Page Two.

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