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500 Fortunes: le top-5 des hausses et des baisses

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1/11

Marie-Odile Amaury

Marie-Odile Amaury et sa famille enregistrent la plus forte baisse du classement 2020 des 500 fortunes professionnelles de France de Challenges.


THOMAS SAMSON / AFP

2/11

Les plus fortes hausses: n°5 Dexter Goei

A la tête de la branche américaine du géant des télécoms Altice, Dexter Goei en détient un peu moins de 3%. Avec une fortune professionnelle en hausse de 58% (elle s’établit désormais à 285 millions d’euros), il est en 313e place du classement Challenges 2020 des 500 plus grandes fortunes professionnelles de France.


Lawrence Busacca / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

3/11

Les plus fortes hausses: n°4 Gilles et Yves-Loïc Martin

Avec une fortune professionnelle qui passe de 2,3 à 3,8 milliards d’euros (+65,2%), la famille fondatrice et aux commandes du leader mondial de la bioanalyse Eurofins Scientific remonte dans le top-30 du classement Challenges 2020 des fortunes professionnelles. Gilles et Yves-Loïc Martin se placent à la 28e position.


Eurofins Scientific

4/11

Les plus fortes hausses: n°3 Jean-Charles Naouri

Le PDG du groupe de grande distribution Casino revient dans le classement Challenges 2020 des 500 fortunes professionnelles de France. Avec une hausse de 86,3% en un an, sa fortune atteint 280 millions d’euros ce qui lui permet de prendre la 316e place du classement.


ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

5/11

Les plus fortes hausses: n°2 Benoît Dageville et Thierry Cruanes

En un an, la fortune professionnelle des deux cofondateurs du spécialiste de données dans le cloud Snowflake a plus que doublé passant de 300 millions à 700 millions d’euros. Ils font une remontée au classement de la 300e à la 129e place. (capture d’écran du site Internet de Snowflake)


Snowflake

6/11

Les plus fortes hausses: n°1 Florian Douetteau et Clément Stenac, Marc Batty, Thomas Cabrol

Les fondateurs du groupe d’analyse de données Dataiku enregistrent la plus forte progression du classement Challenges des fortunes professionnelles. La leur passe de 160 à millions à 500 millions d’euros (+212,5%). Ils bondissent ainsi de la 485e à la 171e place dans le classement Challenges 2020. (Capture d’écran du site Internet de Dataiku)


Dataiku

7/11

Les plus fortes baisses: n°5 Robert Zolade

Avec une fortune professionnelle en baisse de 40% (à 330 millions d’euros), le président d’honneur d’Elior, l’entreprise de restauration collective, passe de la 168e à la 258e place du classement Challenges 2020 des 500 plus grandes fortunes de France.


BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

8/11

Les plus fortes baisses: n°4 Pierre et François Bouriez ainsi que leur famille

La fortune professionnelle des deux frères qui contrôlent le groupe de distribution franco-belge Louis Delhaize (Cora, Match…) chute de 40,6%, à 950 millions d’euros. Ils prennent la 98e place du classement Challenges 2020 des 500 fortunes de France.


JACQUES WITT/SIPA

9/11

Les plus fortes baisses: n°3 Maurice Ricci et sa famille

Le fondateur du groupe d’ingénierie et de conseil en innovation Akka Technologies passe de la 179e à la 308e position. Sa fortune professionnelle chute de 45,3%, à 290 millions d’euros.


PRM/SIPA

10/11

Les plus fortes baisses: n°2 Jean-Louis Bouchard

Le président-fondateur du groupe de services aux entreprises Econocom voit sa fortune professionnelle divisée par deux, à 190 millions d euros. Il chute à la 440e place du classement. (Capture d’écran du site Internet d’Econocom)


Econocom

11/11

Les plus fortes baisses: n°1 Marie-Odile Amaury et sa famille

La famille fondatrice des Editions Amaury qui possède un groupe de presse (L’Equipe notamment) et une filiale organisatrice d’événements sportifs voit sa fortune chuter de 51,4% pour s’établir à 180 millions d’euros. La chute se ressent aussi au classement: Marie-Odile Amaury et sa famille passent de la 247e à la 452e position dans l’édition Challenges 2020 des 500 plus grandes fortunes de France.


THOMAS SAMSON / AFP

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Société

Remontada des memecoins face à la baisse du marché crypto

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8h00 ▪
3
min de lecture ▪ par
Fenelon L.

Alors que le marché crypto connaît un ralentissement généralisé, certains memecoins de l’écosystème The Open Network (TON) enregistrent des gains surprenants au cours des dernières 24 heures, défiant ainsi la tendance baissière.

Les memecoins montent sur le marche crypto

Une tendance haussière inattendue sur TON malgré la baisse globale du marché 

Selon les données de CoinGecko, plateforme de référence pour le suivi des prix des crypto, certains memecoins de l’écosystème TON ont connu une envolée surprenante au cours des dernières 24 heures. Resistance Dog (REDO) a bondi de 32%, The Resistance Cat (RECA) de 49% tandis que Ton Inu (TINU) progressait de 9,5%.

Cette dynamique haussière contraste avec la tendance baissière qui prévaut sur le marché crypto dans sa globalité. Là où la capitalisation totale de marché n’a reculé que de 0,1% à 2,54 milliards de dollars, une performance relativement résistante, les deux mastodontes Bitcoin et Ethereum ont pour leur part cédé environ 0,2% chacun.

L’indice GMCI Meme de The Block, qui suit les principaux memecoins par capitalisation boursière, a même dévissé de 2,88%. Ces statistiques illustrent la trajectoire singulière, voire contre-intuitive, des memecoins ancrés sur l’écosystème TON face au vent de panique soufflant actuellement sur le marché crypto.

TON, un écosystème crypto atypique et prometteur 

Issues des équipes à l’origine de la populaire application de messagerie Telegram, la plateforme TON intègre des fonctionnalités blockchain et crypto particulièrement innovantes. Bien que son jeton natif Toncoin ait reculé de 0,4% à 7,78 dollars, les memecoins ancrés sur son écosystème semblent tirer leur épingle du jeu dans ce contexte de marché agité.

Cependant, ces récentes fluctuations n’empêchent pas les analystes de Bitfinex de sonner l’alarme sur les risques d’un « hiver crypto » prolongé. Ils citent notamment les pressions réglementaires croissantes comme principale menace planant sur l’ensemble du secteur crypto.

Si elle se confirme, la dynamique haussière inattendue des memecoins TON pourrait représenter un rare motif d’optimisme dans un marché miné par l’incertitude ambiante.

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Fenelon L. avatar

Fenelon L.

Passionné par le Bitcoin, j’aime explorer les méandres de la blockchain et des cryptos et je partage mes découvertes avec la communauté. Mon rêve est de vivre dans un monde où la vie privée et la liberté financière sont garanties pour tous, et je crois fermement que Bitcoin est l’outil qui peut rendre cela possible.

DISCLAIMER

Les propos et opinions exprimés dans cet article n’engagent que leur auteur, et ne doivent pas être considérés comme des conseils en investissement. Effectuez vos propres recherches avant toute décision d’investissement.

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Supreme Court to Hear Nvidia Bid to Scuttle Shareholder Lawsuit

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The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a bid by Nvidia to scuttle a securities fraud lawsuit accusing the artificial intelligence chipmaker of misleading investors about how much of its sales went to the volatile cryptocurrency industry.

The justices took up Nvidia’s appeal made after a lower court revived a proposed class action brought by shareholders in California against the company and its CEO Jensen Huang. The suit, led by the Stockholm, Sweden-based investment management firm E. Ohman J:or Fonder AB, seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia is a high-flying company that has become one of the biggest beneficiaries of the AI boom, and its market value has surged.

Related: US Regulators to Open Antitrust Inquiries of Microsoft, OpenAI and Nvidia

In 2018, Nvidia’s chips became popular for cryptomining, a process that involves performing complex math equations in order to secure cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The plaintiffs in a 2018 lawsuit accused Nvidia and top company officials of violating a U.S. law called the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by making statements in 2017 and 2018 that falsely downplayed how much of Nvidia’s revenue growth came from crypto-related purchases.

Those omissions misled investors and analysts who were interested in understanding the impact of cryptomining on Nvidia’s business, the plaintiffs said.

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. dismissed the lawsuit in 2021 but the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 ruling subsequently revived it. The 9th Circuit found that the plaintiffs had adequately alleged that Huang made “false or misleading statements and did so knowingly or recklessly,” allowing their case to proceed.

Nvidia urged the justices to take up its appeal, arguing that the 9th Circuit’s ruling would open the door to “abusive and speculative litigation.”

Nvidia in 2022 agreed to pay $5.5 million to U.S. authorities to settle charges that it did not properly disclose the impact of cryptomining on its gaming business.

The justices agreed on June 10 to hear a similar bid by Meta’s Facebook to dismiss a private securities fraud lawsuit accusing the social media platform of misleading investors in 2017 and 2018 about the misuse of its user data by the company and third parties. Facebook appealed after a lower court allowed a shareholder lawsuit led by Amalgamated Bank to proceed.

The Supreme Court will hear the Nvidia and Facebook cases in its next term, which begins in October.

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City in Upstate New York Restoring Systems Disrupted by Cyber Incident

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The city of Newburgh in New York’s Orange County is today reopening its City Hall while continuing to work on restoring municipal services following identification of a cyber incident last Monday.

The network security incident led to a temporary disruption of some city functions, including the ability to process payments for property taxes, water, sewer, sanitation, permit fees, and parking tickets.

The city has engaged outside information technology experts and other professionals who are continuing to work towards full restoration of operations.

According to officials for the city, which has a population of about 29,000, its police, fire, water, sewer, sanitation, engineering and recreation departments have continued with only minor disruptions and 911 services have remained fully functional.

The schedule calls for city phone and email services to be restored beginning today with systems for processing payments being phased back in over the next seven-to-10 days. The city said there will be a grace period for late payments due to the downtime.

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New York

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Strong Winds Driving Southern California Wildfire

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Strong winds drove a wildfire that forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 visitors to a recreation area and threatened nearby properties over the weekend.

Flames burned through dry brush along Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles on Sunday, and officials issued warning residents in the wildfire’s path to be prepared to possibly evacuate if the fire continues to grow.

The Post fire grew to 14,625 acres and was just 8% contained, according to CalFire.

High temperatures and lower humidity are forecasted for today, with wind gusts possible up to 20 MPH and stronger winds on the ridge tops potentially reaching 50 MPH.

“Crews are working to establish perimeter fire lines around the fire’s edges,” a CalFire update states. “Aircraft are being utilized to halt the fire’s forward progress but are facing challenges due to limited visibility. The California State Park Services have evacuated 1,200 people from Hungry Valley Park, and Pyramid Lake is closed due to the threat from the Post Fire.”

An evacuation warning has been issued for areas south of Pyramid Lake between Old Ridge Route and the LA County line, including Paradise Ranch Estates.

The cause of the fire, which started on Saturday, is under investigation. There are 1,148 firefighting personnel assigned to fight the blaze.

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US Lawmakers Grill Microsoft President Over China Ties, Hacks

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Microsoft President Brad Smith fielded questions about the tech giant’s security practices and ties to China at a House homeland security panel on Thursday, a year after alleged China-linked hackers spied on federal emails by hacking the firm.

The hackers accessed 60,000 U.S. State Department emails by breaking into Microsoft’s systems last summer, while Russia-linked cybercriminals separately spied on Microsoft’s senior staff emails this year, according to the company’s disclosures.

The congressional hearing comes amid increasing federal scrutiny over Microsoft, the world’s biggest software-maker, which is also a key vendor to the U.S. government and national security establishment. Microsoft’s business accounts for around 3% of the U.S. federal IT budget, Smith said at the hearing.

Lawmakers grilled Microsoft for its inability to prevent both the Russian and Chinese hacks, which they said put federal networks at risk despite not using sophisticated means.

The company emails Russian hackers accessed also “included correspondence with government officials,” Democrat Bennie Thompson said.

“Microsoft is one of the federal government’s most important technology and security partners, but we cannot afford to allow the importance of that relationship to enable complacency or interfere with our oversight,” he added.

Lawmakers drew on the findings of a scathing report in April by the Cyber Safety Review Board (CSRB) – a group of experts formed by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas – which slammed Microsoft for its lack of transparency over the China hack, calling it preventable.

“We accept responsibility for each and every finding in the CSRB report,” Smith said at the hearing, adding that Microsoft had begun acting on a majority of the report’s recommendations.

“We’re dealing with formidable foes in China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and they’re getting better,” said Smith. “They’re getting more aggressive … They’re waging attacks at an extraordinary rate.”

Thompson criticized Smith’s company for failing to detect the hack, which was discovered instead by the U.S. State Department. Smith responded saying: “That’s the way it should work. No one entity in the ecosystem can see everything.”

But Congressman Thompson was not convinced.

“It’s not our job to find the culprits. That’s what we’re paying you for,” Thompson said.

Panel members also probed Smith for details on Microsoft’s business in China, noting that it had invested heavily in setting up research incentives there.

“Microsoft’s presence in China creates a mix of complex challenges and risks,” said Congressman Mark Green from Mississippi, who chaired the panel.

Microsoft earns around 1.5% of its revenue from China and is working to reduce its engineering presence there, said Smith.

The company has faced heightened criticism from its security industry peers over the past year over the breaches and lack of transparency.

Smith’s responses at the hearing earned praise from some on the panel, such as Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. “You said you accept a responsibility, and I just want to commend you for that,” Greene told him.

Following the board’s criticisms, Microsoft had said it was working on improving its processes and enforcing security benchmarks. In November it launched a new cybersecurity initiative and said it was making security the company’s top priority “above all else – over all other features.”

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Florida Insurance Agents Will Soon Need to Be Appointed With 3 Carriers Before They Can Sell Citizens’ Policies

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Starting July 1, Florida insurance agents must have at least three appointments with authorized carriers before they can sell policies for the state-created Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

That’s the mandate laid down by Florida House Bill 1503, signed into law in May by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Upon the law becoming effective, Citizens will require each agent writing business with Citizens to hold at least three appointments with authorized insurers for each line of business,” reads a bulletin posted by Citizens.

Previous law required agents to have only one appointment, or authorization agreement from a carrier.

“Agents who are unable to, or choose not to obtain the required appointments will lose the ability to write, service, or renew business in that line of authority,” the bulletin notes.

Citizens will notify agents if they are in violation. At that point, agents will have to obtain appointments with other carriers or transfer their book of business to an eligible agent, Citizens said.

The law, which also allows surplus lines insurers to take out Citizens policies on secondary homes, is part of a continuing effort by lawmakers and regulators to trim the girth of Citizens and steer more business back to the private market–without removing the statutory cap on Citizens’ rate increases. Citizens, by far the largest property insurer in Florida, reported 1.18 million policies in force at the end of April.

The new requirement could be painful for some agents who have relied on Citizens and its often-lower premiums to cover properties in the stressed Florida market.

“I would think it would be new agents that would be most affected – those that are trying to start their business and don’t have many appointments,” said Clayton Fischer, an agent with Blue Marlin Insurance, an agency in Miami that holds appointments with more than 15 carriers.

The logic behind the law is not disputed.

“It’s not a bad thing for consumers,” said Karen Roeling, a commercial lines producer with Seibert Insurance Agency in Tampa. “It gives more options.”

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Denmark Seeks to Limit Shadow Tanker Fleet Carrying Russian Oil

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Denmark is considering ways to limit a so-called shadow fleet of tankers from carrying Russian oil through the Baltic Sea, the Nordic country’s foreign minister said on Monday, in a move that could heighten tensions with Moscow.

Russia sends about a third of its seaborne oil exports, or 1.5% of global supply, through the Danish straits that sit as a gateway to the Baltic Sea, so any attempt to halt supplies could send oil prices higher and hit the Kremlin’s finances.

Since Western nations imposed a price cap on Russia’s oil in an attempt to curb vital funds for its war in Ukraine, Russia has relied on a fleet of often aging tankers based and insured outside the West.

Russia’s Ingosstrakh Weighs Legal Action After UK Sanctions

Denmark has brought together a group of allied countries evaluating measures targeting this shadow fleet, Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told Reuters in an emailed statement.

He did not say what measures were being considered.

“There is broad consensus that the shadow fleet is an international problem and that international solutions are required,” Lokke Rasmussen said.

“It’s important that any new measures can be implemented in practice and that they are legally sound with regards to international law,” he added.

Countries involved in the talks included other Baltic Sea states and European Union members, the minister said.

Denmark is concerned that old tankers transporting oil through its straits represent a potential danger to the environment.

Russia’s embassy in Denmark did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news was reported by Danish daily Information and online media Danwatch.

(Reporting by Louise Rasmussen; editing by Terje Solsvik and Mark Potter)

Photograph: An oil tanker is moored at the Sheskharis complex, part of Chernomortransneft JSC, a subsidiary of Transneft PJSC, in Novorossiysk, Russia, on Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo, File)

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Florida Appeals Court Says Detroit Tigers Owe Little to Injured Pitcher

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If the Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team needs money to rebuild its roster next year, a Florida appeals court just saved the team more than $14,000 in workers’ compensation payments to an injured minor league pitcher.

Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals struck out a compensation judge’s decision to award lefty pitcher Austin Sodders indemnity benefits of $349 per week, more than twice as much as Sedgwick Claims Management had argued for. The court said that the comp judge, Robert Arthur, had abused his discretion by skirting statutory requirements and rejecting the terms of the player’s contract.

“The JCC (judge of compensation claims) does not have discretion to reject the contract’s plain language, even where he finds it too ‘stringent,’” the 1st DCA wrote last week. “Nor does the law permit the JCC to supplement the contract’s explicit terms with his own more flexible terms.”

The decision highlights how tricky it can be to calculate the average weekly wage for some part-time or seasonal workers, particularly ballplayers. Florida law has four different subsections that speak to the methods by which wages should be calculated. Sodders had elected not to pursue a seasonal-worker allowance in the law, and two other sections did not apply; that means that the contract and Sodders’ actual, full-time weekly wages should govern, the court said.

“Under section 440.14(1)(d), the claimants’ full-time weekly wages are ‘determined prospectively by using either the contract of employment or the actual earnings on the job where Claimant was working at the time of the injury,’” District Court Judge Robert Long Jr. wrote in the court’s June 12 opinion.

The 6-foot, 4-inch Sodders, out of Riverside, California, was playing for the Detroit Tigers’ Class-A Minor League team in Lakeland, Florida, in 2018, when he injured his throwing shoulder. Until then, he had posted a respectable earned-run average of 2.72, according to Minor League statistics on milb.com. The Athletic publication called him a top minor league prospect in 2018.

Not long after his injury, though, the Tigers released him. Sodders filed a workers’ compensation claim for temporary total disability. The team paid 70 weeks of benefits at $144 per week, for a total of $10,170. In 2022, Sodders hired well-known claimants’ lawyer Michael Winer, of Tampa, who filed a petition arguing that the team had miscalculated the benefits, and the player’s weekly wage amount should be more than doubled, with benefits totaling at least $24,360.

Both sides agreed that the player had been paid $1,500 a month in salary, per a standard, five-month Minor League contract. Sodders and Winer argued that the wage and comp benefits should be based on a full year of pay at the rate of $1,500 per month, producing an average weekly wage of $349.

Sedgwick countered that the player’s five-month total should be spread over a year to determine a fair weekly pay: $1,500 per month multiplied by five months and divided by 52 weeks equals $144.

Florida compensation judges in at least two previous baseball cases, for a Chicago White Sox player in 1996 and a Houston Astros player in 2012, had followed that same reasoning, Sedgwick attorney Michelle Langlois noted in her response to Sodder’s request for an adjustment to his benefits. Otherwise, it would be produce a windfall for the injured worker.

“The methodology suggested by claimant in his petition for benefits results in annual temporary partial disability benefits that far exceed his total annual earnings,” Langlois wrote.

The comp judge, Arthur, wrote that his reading of Sodders’ contract was that it was not, in fact, for a five-month period and that it required the player to be available for year-round events, including winter-league baseball. The player’s wage calculation should also include his potential earnings from an off-season job, along with a signing bonus.

“The wages which the claimant was prevented from earning during that period were not his wages as a baseball player, as his contract had been terminated on August 7, 2019, but were wages that could have been earned on the open labor market,” Judge Arthur said.

The claimant “should not be restricted by the stringent terms of the minor league baseball contract under which he played, which limited the payments of salary to the championship season, despite its control over the claimant’s activities for the entire year,” the comp judge noted.

The fairest and most reasonable way to calculate the average weekly wage is to simply divide the monthly salary by 4.3 (weeks in a month) for a base wage of $349, the judge said. Otherwise, the employer gains a windfall. He also awarded attorney fees to Winer.

But the appellate judges disagreed, noting that the statute requires the wage to be based on the contract, which appears to limit pay to the playing season, or “actual earnings” in the job in which he was working at the time of the injury. The contract did obligate the pitcher to some year-round commitments, but it also allowed him to seek employment during the offseason.

“Had Sodders earned income from other sources during the off-season, he could have included those amounts here. However, he had not earned other income through any off-season employment, and he did not elect calculation under this subdivision,” the DCA opinion reads.

The appeals court acknowledged that judges of compensation claims have broad discretion in determining a fair weekly wage amount. “But that discretion is not unfettered,” the court noted.

When interpreting contracts to determine the parties’ rights and responsibilities, the comp judge “cannot reform contracts or effect a remedy not provided’ by state law, the appellate judges said.

The DCA remanded the case to the comp judge to reset Sodders’ benefits based on the lower average weekly wage.

Sodders is now director of client solutions at a brand management and marketing firm for utility companies, based in Texas, according to his Linkedin page.

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Florida

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Société

Vacant Commercial Property Owners Face Sidewalk Liability: New Jersey Supreme Court

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The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that all commercial landowners — including owners of vacant commercial lots — have a duty to maintain the public sidewalks abutting their property in reasonably good condition and are liable to pedestrians injured as a result of their negligent failure to do so.

The high court created a new rule that it explained is guided by the principle of fairness and that no longer treats vacant properties differently than those with structures or active businesses.

“There is something profoundly unfair about commercial property owners purchasing vacant lots and having no responsibility whatsoever for maintaining the area where the general public traverses,” the court commented in a 4-3 opinion penned by Justice Fabiana Pierre-Louis.

The majority relied upon a principle expressed in a 1993 ruling: “Whether a person owes a duty of reasonable care toward another turns on whether the imposition of such a duty satisfies an abiding sense of basic fairness under all of the circumstances in light of considerations of public policy.” (Hopkins v. Fox & Lazo Realtors).

In the high court’s view, this guiding principle means that “it matters not that there is no structure or active business being conducted on a commercial property.”

The court said that purchasing a vacant commercial lot is a business decision that embraces the costs and burdens of conducting business and one of those costs includes maintaining the abutting sidewalks so that they are in a reasonably safe condition for innocent passersby.

With its ruling, the high court reversed and remanded back to the appellate court a negligence suit brought against the owners of a vacant property in Camden by a woman who claims she fell on the sidewalk and sustained injuries that required surgery.

The owners of the property purchased it 27 years before plaintiff’s fall in 1992, and later bought an adjacent lot, intending to construct a building, but never did. According to the owners, they never built a structure because “the economic situations were really bad.” One defendant further testified that he did not purchase liability insurance to cover the lot because insurance companies “didn’t really want to insure it.”

The high court cited the history of sidewalk liability law in New Jersey courts, which has evolved from imposing no liability on commercial landowners for maintenance of sidewalks to imposing a duty on commercial but not residential landowners but only if there is a structure or active business on the site. The courts recognized that this imposed an expense on commercial property owners, but that liability insurance would become available, the cost of which owners would absorb as a necessary expense of doing business.

Appellate courts have since exempted some vacant properties from sidewalk liability, reasoning among other things that they lack a capacity to generate income and the capacity to spread the risk of loss.

The Supreme Court maintained that subsequent cases have led to confusion in the area of commercial sidewalk liability law and uncertainty over whether liability should apply to commercial landowners of vacant lots. The court concluded that it should apply because whether a duty exists is ultimately a question of fairness and not whether there is a structure or active business on a commercial property.

“By its essence, a commercial lot exists and is bought and sold for the purpose of making money. Indeed, when someone purchases a vacant commercial lot, that is a business decision that embraces all the attendant costs and burdens of conducting business. We conclude that one of those costs necessarily includes maintaining the abutting sidewalks so that they are in a reasonably safe condition for innocent passersby,” the court stated.

The court rejected suggestions by the defense counsel that it adopt a case-by-case approach or consider if the property is on an “immediate path to profit” to determine when a commercial landowner owes a duty. The court said those analyses would not be practical as they would be based on “nebulous indicators” and they would not make it clear enough where and when a duty is owed.

The ruling notes that the sidewalk liability distinction between commercial and residential properties should remain but it should no longer treat certain types of commercial properties differently.

The majority opines that the “bright-line rule” that all commercial property owners owe a duty to maintain abutting sidewalks in reasonably good condition will ensure “fairness, consistency, and predictability” in the state’s courts going forward.

The opinion also notes that the court has in the past urged the state Legislature to clarify the law on sidewalk liability but that has not happened.

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Commercial Lines
Business Insurance
New Jersey
Property

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FDA approves Merck pneumococcal disease vaccine designed for adults

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Merck’s new pneumococcal vaccine.

Courtesy: Merck

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved Merck‘s new vaccine designed to protect adults from a bacteria known as pneumococcus that can cause serious illnesses and a lung infection called pneumonia, the drugmaker said.

Merck’s shot, called Capvaxive, specifically protects against 21 strains of that bacteria to prevent a severe form of pneumococcal disease that can spread to other parts of the body and lead to pneumonia. It’s the first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine designed specifically for adults and aims to provide broader protection than the available shots on the market, according to the drugmaker.

Healthy adults can suffer from pneumococcal disease. But older patients and those with chronic or immunocompromising health conditions are at increased risk for the illness, especially the more serious or so-called “invasive” form. 

Invasive pneumococcal disease can lead to meningitis, an infection that causes inflammation in the area surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and an infection in the bloodstream called bacteremia. 

“If you have chronic lung disease, even asthma, you have a higher risk of getting sick with pneumococcal disease, and then being in the hospital, losing out on work,” Heather Platt, Merck’s product development team lead for the newly cleared vaccine, told CNBC in an interview. “Those are things that have a real impact on adults and children, their quality of life.”

Around 150,000 U.S. adults are hospitalized with invasive pneumococcal disease each year, Platt said. Death from the more serious form of the disease is highest among adults 50 and above, Merck said in a release in December.

Even after the FDA approval, the company’s single-dose vaccine won’t reach patients just yet. An advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet on June 27 to discuss who should be eligible for the shot.

Platt said Merck will support the committee’s decision and is ready to supply the vaccine by late summer. 

Merck’s competitive edge

Some analysts view Capvaxive as a key growth driver for Merck as it prepares to offset losses from its blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda, which will lose exclusivity in the U.S. in 2028. 

The market for pneumococcal conjugate vaccines is currently around $7 billion and could grow to be worth more than $10 billion over the next several years, according to a November note from Cantor Fitzgerald analysts. 

Merck’s newly approved shot could boost its competitive edge in that space, which includes drugmaker Pfizer. Merck currently markets two pneumococcal shots, but neither is specifically designed for adults. For example, the company’s existing shot Vaxneuvance is approved in the U.S. for patients 6 weeks of age and older.

Pfizer’s single-dose pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar 20, is the current recommended product for adults. But Merck expects its new shot to capture the majority of market share among adults, Platt said. 

“We do expect there to be rapid uptake of” Capvaxive, she said, adding that the company is confident that data on the shot will “really resonate” with clinicians and policymakers. 

Merck’s pneumococcal vaccine protects against eight strains of the bacteria that are not included in any other approved shot for the disease. Those eight strains account for roughly 30% of invasive pneumococcal disease cases in patients 65, according to a release from Merck, citing CDC data from 2018 to 2021. 

The 21 strains included in Merck’s shot account for roughly 85% of invasive pneumococcal disease cases in adults 65 and above, Merck, citing the CDC data. Meanwhile, Pfizer’s Prevnar targets strains that only account for roughly 52% of cases, based on the same CDC data. 

The FDA’s approval is partly based on Merck’s late-stage trial called STRIDE-3 that pitted the vaccine against Pfizer’s Prevnar 20 in adults 18 and up who had not previously received a pneumococcal vaccine.

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