Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C. Attorneys at Law — Founded 1908

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LIFE INSURANCE POLICY EXCLUSIONS AND BENEFICIARY

Many people own term life insurance policies which, like all policies, contain exclusions. Exclusions provide that under certain circumstances benefits are not payable. Often times there is confusion as to whether a certain fact situation involving a death would qualify as a “exclusion.” Insurance companies typically are quite quick to assert the benefit of an “exclusion.” However, often times there is room to argue that the exclusion would not apply and that the benefit should be payable. A circumstance, for instance, might be that a group life insurance policy (a policy provided through work) provides that an employee will not receive benefits if the death involves the employee driving while intoxicated. Such policies often require specific blood test types and blood test results. However, often, it is the case that not only the type of test that is existent and the result of that test do not clearly “exclude benefits.” Another common dispute in life insurance policies is who the beneficiary is. Often time’s beneficiary forms are filled out improperly or in a way that is unclear as to naming the beneficiary. If similar circumstances exist, please contact David at to discuss your case in greater detail. The attorneys at Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Wanezek & Jaekels law firm can help you today!

Tags: Employment Law Estate Planning Family Law Probate

ERISA CLAIMS AND APPEALS

Many employers offer certain benefits to their employees including group disability policies.  Although this offer is very attractive to employees, it is often the case that when an employee actually becomes disabled, the insurance company providing the coverage is reluctant to award the benefits which can be extensive.  Often times there is a dispute as to whether or not the applicant meets the definition of “disabled.”  If this situation arises, the benefit that the employee expected to receive is often denied by the insurance company.  In cases involving employment group disability policies, a special law called ERISA applies.  In that circumstance, after the denial is made, the applicant usually only has 180 days to put together an appeal packet.  That 180 days is extraordinarily crucial in putting together the packet and submitting an appeal.  In most cases, it is advisable to seek legal assistance in preparing the appeal as certain materials must be submitted that would allow the insurance carrier to reach a determination that the claim is covered where the claim is otherwise disputed.  Persons experiencing a denial and attempting to deal with the denial themselves without the assistance of a lawyer often fail to submit materials that are crucial for later determination.  If the matter is filed in Federal Court, typically you do not get an additional opportunity to submit new materials, or materials that otherwise may serve as a basis to change the outcome of the matter.

Our firm routinely does ERISA type claims and is skilled in preparing appeal packets.  Further, if an insurance company continues to deny the claim, our firm also has extensive experience litigating the matter in Federal Court.  The attorney at our firm specializing in this area of law is Attorney David D. Dauland he would be happy to assist you in your case.

DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS IN WISCONSIN

In Wisconsin, it is illegal to discriminate against a person based upon race, color, creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex/gender, handicap or disability,arrest/conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation, military service or outside use of lawful products.  It is unlawful to treat people less favorably than others because of their “protected class” in employment.  The law prohibits discrimination in employment related actions such as recruitment and hiring, pay, promotion, training, demotion, job assignments, leave or benefits, licensing or union membership, lay off and firing, and other employment related actions.

It is also illegal in Wisconsin to retaliate against employees who assert their rights under the fair employment law, the family and medical leave law, and other labor standards law.  Further, it is illegal to harass a person because of their sex or because of their particular protected class.  Further, engaging in most types of genetic testing or giving an improper honesty test is impermissible under Wisconsin law.

Although there are a few exceptions to the foregoing, it is generally illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee for any of the foregoing reasons.  Our law firm has an active practice in representing both employees and employers in employment discrimination claims.  Typically, these claims are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that the employee does not have to pay any attorney’s fees up front.  The lawyer’s fees are paid out of any successful recovery of either attorney fees or, in the event of a settlement, a percentage of the settlement.

In particular, our law firm refers such cases to Attorney David D. Daul who has extensive experience in these types of actions.  For a free assessment, please contact Attorney David D. Daul directly at 920-437-8191.

BREACH OF CONTRACT CLAIM BARRED BY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

A corporation that paid more than 26 million dollars for the construction of a resort in the Wisconsin Dells was too late in filing a claim against the construction company alleging defective designs which caused significant water damage.

Almost ten years after the work was completed, the corporation that wanted to bring contract claim against the construction company was barred from bringing the claims due to the statute of limitations.

Under Wis. Stat. sec. 893.89, a person involved in the improvement of real estate can’t be sued after 10 years from the date of substantial completion of the project. However, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals found that the limitation period for a breach of contract claim is shorter. When the action is one for a breach of contract claim, the statute provides that the time limit applicable for contract action applies, which is 6 years. The corporation’s claim could not be heard by the Court because it had been more than six years since the alleged breach occurred. As a result the corporation will likely be unable to recoup any amount of the claimed 26 million of damages against the construction company because the statute of limitations expired.

If your claim is past the statute of limitations, you will be unable to recover the damages that you suffered. Do not let that happen. Contact our attorneys at Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Wanezek & Jaekels law firm if you have a claim against someone for injuries that you have suffered.

CHANGES IN CHILD ABUSE REPORTING LAWS

The child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State University has caused other states to revisit their laws that aim to protect children from abuse.

In Wisconsin, several changes to the mandatory-abuse reporting laws have taken place within the last month in order to provide more protection to children subject to abuse. One of the significant changes is that “school employees” are now mandatory reporters for child abuse. Previously, there were about 29 other occupations who were mandatory reporters including social workers, physicians, nurses, school teachers, administrators, and counselors.

The requirement to report the abuse is mandatory if the person has reasonable cause to suspect the abuse or if the person has reason to believe the child has been threatened with abuse or neglect. There are some exceptions to the mandatory reporting including some exceptions for clergymen and parents. In addition, those who report in good faith as required may not be discharged from employment, or otherwise disciplined or discriminated against with respect to such report.

As a “court appointed special advocate” for a child, lawyers are required to report the suspected child abuse. Penalties for failure to report the abuse is a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months or both. A civil case under tort law is also available for the victim and the family.

This article is just a general overview of the law with regard to child abuse reporting, as this area of the law is complicated and contains many caveats and exceptions. If you have any questions contact Greg Babcock at the Green Bay, Wisconsin law firm Wanezek & Jaekels.  Attorney Greg Babcock practices in the area of family law. Call or email him for a consultation.

Tags: Family Law

MAKE SURE TO PRESERVE YOUR APPEAL RIGHTS

For practicing attorneys, it is well known that in order to preserve your right to appeal a particular issue, you must bring that issue to the attention to the circuit court. This is called the forfeiture rule. However, pro se litigants typically are not knowledgable about the procedural aspects of the legal system and probably wouldn’t be aware of that fact. However, application of the forfeiture rule is no different for pro se litigants. In Townsend v. Massey, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals found that one does not preserve legal arguments on appeal by simply raising a related issue at the trial court level, even if the person appealing is a pro se litigant. Because of this forfeiture rule, it is even more important to ensure that you have capable legal representation at the trial court and appellate court levels. Contact our firm for assistance with all of your legal needs. The experienced attorneys at Wanezek & Jaekels can help you determine your appellate rights.

LANDLORD RIGHTS AND ABANDONED PROPERTY IN WISCONSIN

In the course of renting property, occasionally people abandon property when they leave. As a landlord, it is important to follow the statutorily outlined steps and get a storage lien placed on the items as quickly as possible.

A landlord is allowed to charge “reasonable” storage fees to store the tenant’s stuff, assuming he gives the former owner notice. After some time, the landlord can take the items and sell them, recovering the reasonable storage fees and selling expenses. Any excess has to be remitted to either the previous owner or the state.

When a lien is placed on the property, it has to be paid before the property can be recovered by its original owner. Placing a lien on the property gives you rights and options that allow you to start earning storage expenses you can recover against when the asset is disposed of.

Our firm has extensive experience with liens and property rights. ContactAttorney David Daul or Warren Wanezek for a consultation.  The attorneys atWanezek & Jaekels are experienced in both landlord and tenant rights and duties.

EMPLOYEES COMING BACK TO WORK AFTER WORK RELATED INJURY

When an employee gets injured on the job and takes time off to recover, an employer must rehire them unless there is reasonable cause not to do so. Wisconsin Statute 102.35 requires that an employer who refuses to rehire the employee, pay lost wages to the employee when they refuse to rehire them without a showing of reasonable cause. In a case that was decided in July of 2011, the Wisconsin Supreme Court found that if a business could show a reasonable cause for termination than that was all they had to prove. The Wisconsin Supreme Court found that the LIRC had incorrectly read in the accommodation requirements for employees with disabilities because it asked for something more than reasonable cause. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin found that the rehiring provision “does not contain a requirement that employers change their legitimate and universally applied business policies to meet the personal obligations of their employees.” Without a showing of reasonable cause the employer would have to pay. Employers and Employees get into disputes from time to time. Our Firm has extensive experience with employment disputes including return to work issues. Contact Attorney David Daul or Warren Wanezek for a consultation.

CIVIL CLAIM FOR CONVERSION IN WISCONSIN

Conversion is the civil claim that may apply when people take property that does not belong to them.  It is committed when someone, without the consent of the owner takes, controls, destroys or materially alters the property in such a way that seriously interferes with the rights of the owner to control the property or fails to return something to someone who owns it.

If you need assistance for recovery of your property, the Green Bay law firm of Wanezek & Jaekels, S.C., can help. Call 1.920.437.8191 or Contact Us online.

WRONGFUL CONVERSION OF PROPERTY
This deprivation can be permanent or for an indefinite period of time. It does not matter if the person who took it knew the owner was entitled to it or even that he intended to interfere with the owner’s possession as wrongful or unlawful intentions are not elements of conversion. It only matters that the person intended to deal with the property in a way that would interfere with the owner’s possession. Such disputes may arise in many contexts, including personal and business disputes.

Our firm has extensive experience with tort litigation and property rights, including conversion of property. If someone has taken, destroyed, altered, or interfered with your personal property, business property, or other property rights, the Green Bay Wisconsin lawyers at Wanezek & Jaekels, S.C., can help.

Contact Attorney David Daul or Attorney Warren Wanezek for a legal consultation. Contact Us online, or Call 920-437-8191.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND LEGAL ACTIONS

Social Media is a prominent part of many people’s lives these days.  With the advent of these technologies comes a lot of hidden risk. People tweet and post on Facebook about their personal experiences without filtering much of it. Many people don’t realize that these posts and tweets can be used against them in pending litigation.

While you may feel the compulsion to post or tweet about everything that happens to you, you should resist the urge when you get involved with something that could result in pending litigation. These tweets and posts can be viewed as party admissions and used as evidence against you.

In this age of technology, social media is increasingly becoming a source of problems for people if they aren’t careful of what they post. With the ever increasing presence of social media in our lives, persons should exercise caution in what is posted on social media sites.

At Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, our attorneys are experienced litigators.  We will properly advise you on the legal effects and consequences of out of court statements in the context of your case.  In the Green Bay area,Contact Us for a consultation.

Tags: Business Law Divorce Law Employment Law Litigation Personal Injury

Obtain Legal Help You Can Rely On

To get in touch with one of our attorneys about your case, call our firm at (920) 437-8191 or fill out the form below.