Insurance Report(@leasttheyrthinkinboutit)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
NAII Urges Senate to Vote for Y2K Act U.S. Newswire 22 Apr 6:00 With Time Running Out, NAII Urges Senate to Vote for Y2K Act To: National and Business desks Contact: Diane Turner of the National Association of Independent Insurers, 202-639-0499; e-mail: Dturner@naii.org; Web site: http://www.naii.org
WASHINGTON, April 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- With little time left to act in 1999 to address a problem that could paralyze the country, National Association of Independent Insurers' (NAII) senior vice president Robert Dibblee today urged members of the Senate to support S. 96, the Y2K Act. The legislation, aimed at addressing a major part of the Year 2000 computer software problem, is expected to be voted on by the Senate next week.
"Approving the Y2K Act is a vital step in moving our country past a potential legal nightmare," Dibblee said in a letter sent to all members of the Senate today. "Y2K is a problem that has the potential to cause significant disruptions to our lives and businesses not only in the U.S., but worldwide as well. At a time when businesses must devote significant time and resources to mitigate the Y2K effects, it is imperative that they not be diverted from this important work by time-consuming and potentially bankrupting lawsuits."
The Y2K Act, legislation introduced by Sen. John McCain of Arizona and approved by the Commerce Committee on March 3, would limit liability from Year 2000 computer problems.
The NAII and its members urge the Senate to support S. 96 because it would take the necessary steps to encourage remediation, minimize costs and conflicts, and reduce litigation while ensuring that those who experience true harm have access to the legal system and are fully compensated for their losses. This legislation would also encourage plaintiffs to initiate voluntary alternatives to the traditional court system to resolve disputes; allow potential defendants to correct problems before lawsuits are filed; encourage remediation by excluding compensation for damages the plaintiff could have reasonably avoided; limit punitive damages; and provide federal assistance to small businesses to address their Y2K problems.
"It's essential that we pass S. 96 now," Dibblee stated. "Businesses are inextricably intertwined and in the absence of legislation a failure by one company could open up many others in its business chain to liability." Examples of how businesses are intertwined include: customers could be wrongly billed or files could be deleted because the computer wrongly assumes that the files are old; computer-controlled inventory systems could send products with a shelf life to be destroyed, or may fail to order new stock; and payment and receipt due dates could be miscalculated producing inaccurate cash flow information.
"Computer programs are not the only problem; embedded microchips that control a myriad of activities from traffic flow to the functioning of medical devices may also be date sensitive," Dibblee said. "Time's running out and much is at stake."
------ The NAII is the largest full-service property-casualty insurance trade association in the country, representing 619 companies.
-0- /U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/ 04/22 06:00
Copyright 1999, U.S. Newswire
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