28 MAY 2014 Claims Magazine PropertyCasualty360.com
data center of the spike in temperature?
With the growing role of the Io T, subrogating carriers must consider all of
these possibilities, from seeding to market, in evaluating whether they have a responsible third party to pursue.
A smart city is an interconnected system
of systems. It uses the IoT to provide a
platform for its infrastructure, operations
and people to interact. Smart cities use
smart grids to improve such areas as en-
ergy and utilities, transportation, weather
and public safety.
Rio De Janeiro, Honolulu, Miami and
others have started transitioning their
infrastructures to accumulate and pro-
cess 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 pro-
duce real time maps and graphs, which
may then be used to predict problems
and try to counteract them in advance.
For instance, weather monitoring sys-
tems 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, shut-
down certain areas of the city and dis-
patch emergency personnel before the
What happens if the predictive soft-
ware or the infrastructure’s response is
wrong? Government entities, which tra-
ditionally have been insulated from liabil-
ity 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
Howard D. Maycon, Esq., is the
Managing Partner of the Los Angeles
office of Cozen O’Connor. He also
serves as the chair of the Subrogation &
Recovery Department’s Western Region,
which handles matters in California,
Arizona, Utah and Nevada. Howard has
successfully litigated a wide array of
civil cases while focusing his practice
in the areas of catastrophic property
damage claims, products liability and