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Senate panel votes to obey contracts written in English only
Sierra Vista Herald ^

Posted on 03/02/2018 4:52:46 AM PST by SandRat

PHOENIX — A Senate panel voted Wednesday to let insurers disavow foreign-language versions of the contracts they provide, a move one lawmaker said will result in companies giving people “the shaft.''

HB 2083 would spell out that the English-language version of any policy governs any dispute between insurance companies and their customers, even if a version in another language prepared by the company says something else.

It would, however, require that there be a disclosure on the non-English version that it has no binding effect, no matter the difference.

The measure, approved on a 4-3 party-line vote by the Senate Finance Committee, is being sponsored at the behest of the industry by Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria.

He said the presumption of validity for the English version starts with the 2006 voter-approved constitutional-provision measure declaring English the official language of the state.

But Livingston said the change actually will help those who don't speak English.

"There are some words, especially technical words, in contracts that don't translate exactly,'' he said. Livingston said that can result in disputes about which version governs.

"The insurance companies are saying, 'I'm not going to take that risk,''' he said, deciding to furnish only an English version even when customers don't speak that language. Livingston said his bill would encourage insurers to provide versions in other languages knowing that these can't be used against them in court.

But it was precisely that point that annoyed foes.

"If you're saying that only English governs, and the customer is provided with a Spanish or any-other-language translation of the contract, and they sign on as a customer in good faith thinking that's what they're doing, and then there's a dispute and it's a translation problem, you've just transferred the risk and liability onto the customer,'' said Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson.

Livingston, a former insurance agent, said the alternative is having no translation at all.

He said that has meant situations where a couple that does not speak English ends up bringing a bilingual child to the office of the insurance company to help a parent understand the basics of coverage.

And Livingston said that his legislation actually will help those in non-English-speaking communities, providing them more opportunities to get coverage. Farley sniffed at that contention.

"If the insurance company wants the business enough, to be able to ask for the business and have that contract, they should be willing to stand behind the contract in whatever language they have translated it for,'' he said.

"It sounds like a good idea,'' said Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford, D-Tucson. "But then they give the people the shaft.''

Marc Osborn, lobbyist for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., said there are protections against insurers using a deliberately mistranslated version to defraud customers.

He said nothing in the legislation would overrule existing regulations that require insurance companies to use licensed translators who have been approved by the state Department of Insurance. And Osborn said there are laws prohibiting false advertising.

The measure, which already has been approved by the House, now needs to go to the full Senate. 1

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; US: Arizona

1 posted on 03/02/2018 4:52:46 AM PST by SandRat
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To: SandRat

And just think of all of those foreign language ballots (in six or more languages in some states) where ballot language is key.

Vote No for Yes propositions, competing propositions on the same ballot, etc...

I’ve brought up the point before.

2 posted on 03/02/2018 4:58:39 AM PST by a fool in paradise (Ask a lib if Alger Hiss colluded with the Russians.)
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To: SandRat

The reporting is dumb.

You have to have ONE controlling version of a contract. If there are two versions of a contract, it only makes sense that it be in the language used by jurors, judges, lawyers, etc.

3 posted on 03/02/2018 5:00:02 AM PST by dangus (.)
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To: SandRat

It’s necessary to do this. This foreign language thing is out of control. Democrats guaranteed that anyone can get any government service in any language. That is impossible!

Borders, language, culture!

4 posted on 03/02/2018 5:02:41 AM PST by I want the USA back (Free Republic keeps me from going insane in a world that has chosen insanity over reason.)
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To: dangus

Good grief. That would have been my thought too, but if this has to be addressed via legislation because it is NOT so would be disturbing to me!

WTF? The simple act of translating can change a meaning in a variety of ways. Of COURSE you are correct in your post. If you AREN’T, I find that very disconcerting.

5 posted on 03/02/2018 5:04:06 AM PST by rlmorel (Leftists: American Liberty is the egg that requires breaking to make their Utopian omelette)
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To: I want the USA back

Try getting it in Vulcan or Klingon

6 posted on 03/02/2018 5:09:28 AM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country)
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To: dangus

The reporting is not dumb. As you read (if you did) there are people that actually believe that language is not a defining factor in in society. They truly believe that we should all learn spanish to accommodate others.

7 posted on 03/02/2018 5:14:52 AM PST by raybbr (That progressive bumper sticker on your car might just as well say, "Yes, I'm THAT stupid!")
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To: raybbr

So when I say “I will do X tomorrow,” does that mean the English “I will” meaning I have made a commitment come hell or high water, and English “tomorrow” meaning by the end of the day that takes place after today, or do I mean manana, e.g. meaning I might get around to doing something some day, but let’s meet at the cervezaria and will talk about it some more.

8 posted on 03/02/2018 5:21:20 AM PST by AndyJackson
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To: AndyJackson

No habla!

9 posted on 03/02/2018 5:26:28 AM PST by AU72
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To: rlmorel

It’s not SO obvious that it shouldn’t need legislation. The way I understand it, there is a legal principle that the person who draws up a contract is responsible for any contradiction in the contract. So if I say, “the repair must be done within five business days” AND “the repair must be done within five days” in the same contract, the repair must be done within five days.

Also, if I’m a landlord, and I make two contracts, the one which is more favorable to the renter probably will be the controlling one. (Again, I’m not a lawyer, and state laws probably vary.) If I sign the English one first, and THEN sign one more favorable to the renter, the second contract supercedes the first. If the first one is more favorable to the renter, I have to demonstrate that the renter received a benefit in signing a second contract or else the second contract is null.

The REAL mess comes from U.S. English, which is a money-making scam. They passed lots of official-English laws which do nothing but simply state that “English is the official language of...” a given state. What does that MEAN? Does it mean anything more than honoring the language, like saying that “My Old Kentucky Home” is (was) the official song of Kentucky? Or does it give preference to English when conducting official business?

What if the tenant brought a translator and the translation is the tenant’s own? Does that mean the tenant is responsible for contradictions?

10 posted on 03/02/2018 5:28:25 AM PST by dangus (.)
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To: SandRat

English-only is tricky enough as it is. When we see law and court cases that turn entirely on whether a comma was included or not, or whether “and” or “but” was the important contraction, or whether “shall” or “will” was the important word, let’s not make things harder than that.

11 posted on 03/02/2018 5:31:11 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: AU72

Dave’s not here man.

12 posted on 03/02/2018 5:33:07 AM PST by AndyJackson
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To: SandRat

“...and they sign on as a customer in good faith thinking that’s what they’re doing,”

Sign in good faith? When did that hold up? What? You didn’t read it? Too bad...

13 posted on 03/02/2018 5:45:12 AM PST by bk1000 (I stand with Trump)
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To: SandRat

I am 1000 miles from the southern border and walked into a McDonald’s for the first time in years a half hour ago.

Within 60 seconds I heard the unmistakable utterances of spanish between 2 workers.

This, too, should be illegal. A fireable & sanctionable offense, speaking a foreign language in the presence of customers/clientele, unless it is the posted policy of the business that they permit such activity.

What people do on their own time is one thing; I fired off a letter to McD just now to voice my displeasure.

This contract policy should be Federal.

14 posted on 03/02/2018 7:10:58 AM PST by logi_cal869 (-cynicus-)
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To: SandRat

In the USA I semi agree with this. Native American languages should also be allowed.

15 posted on 03/02/2018 8:11:26 AM PST by Retvet (Retvet)
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To: jiggyboy

Exactly. About a year ago there was a case of Oakhurst Dairy truck drivers in Maine winning a class action lawsuit about overtime pay. It cost the company an estimated $10 million, and it hinged on the lack of an Oxford comma.

Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute

16 posted on 03/02/2018 8:22:13 AM PST by Teotwawki (For a person to get a thing without paying for it, another must pay for it without getting it.)
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To: Retvet
Native American languages should also be allowed.

And Pig latin for sure.

17 posted on 03/02/2018 6:22:18 PM PST by itsahoot (There will be division, as long as there is money to be divided.)
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