How about the farmer in the Midwest
who harvests his corn or soy only to have
it rot in transit because the cold storage
container monitoring equipment failed
to notify the driver or the transportation
data center of the spike in temperature?
With the growing role of the Io T, sub-
rogating carriers must consider all of
these possibilities, from seeding to mar-
ket, in evaluating whether they have a re-
sponsible third party to pursue.
A smart city is an interconnected system of systems. It uses the Io T to provide
a platform for its infrastructure, operations and people to interact. Smart cities
use smart grids to improve such areas
as energy and utilities, transportation,
weather and public safety.
Rio De Janeiro, Honolulu, Miami and
others have started transitioning their infrastructures to accumulate and process
data at centralized locations in an effort
to increase response times and to identify
and respond to problems.
Data taken from sensors, video feeds
and other communication devices produce real time maps and graphs, which
may then be used to predict problems
and try to counteract them in advance.
For instance, weather monitoring systems can forecast heavy rains which, in
turn, may allow a smart city to predict
catastrophic events such as flooding and
mudslides. The city can then warn citizens,
divert traffic and drainage, shutdown certain areas of the city and dispatch emergency personnel before the event happens.
What happens if the predictive software
or the infrastructure’s response is wrong?
Government entities, which traditionally
have been insulated from liability for unforeseeable acts of God, may just open the
door for recoveries by turning the key to
the city over to the Io T.
Computers, not people, will be tasked
with identifying, assessing and responding to these catastrophic events. Thus,
any failure of these systems to accurately
and promptly do so could be just what the
subrogating carrier ordered.
As the Io T continues to grow, subrogation carriers should not limit their evaluations to the traditional defendants such as
product manufacturers, installers and utility
companies. Rather, they should consider the
potential liability of non-traditional entities
such as data storage entities (the cloud),
data analysts and hardware and software
programmers when the Io T is involved.
While Hal once infamously said the
failure of the ship’s antenna could “only be
attributable to human error,” subrogation
professionals now know otherwise.
Howard D. Maycon, Esq., is the managing partner
of the Los Angeles, Calif. office of Cozen O’Connor.
He also serves as the chair of the Subrogation &
Recovery Department’s western region, which
handles legal matters in California, Arizona, Utah
and Nevada. Maycon has successfully litigated
an array of civil cases while focusing his practice
on catastrophic property damage claims, products liability and commercial litigation. For more
information, visit www.cozen.com.
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