Tidbits from the Law – June 2010

The following items may be of interest to you:

. . .You may recall that in 2009 you were not required to take distributions from your IRA’s, Roth IRA’s and defined contribution plans due to the one year moratorium that Congress included in the law under the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act. This year, you are again required to take at least the required minimum distribution (RMD) if you are 70 and one half years young. If you fail to take your RMD, you may have a 50% penalty. You may have to take affirmative action to contact the custodian of your IRA or other plan to restart your distributions.

. . .A Los Angeles jury gave a verdict of $8.8 million to the spouse of a woman who died as a result of mesothelioma. The woman apparently came in contact with the asbestos in her husband’s clothes when he came home from work. She habitually would shake out the clothes and then wash them. The jury believed that the continued pattern of her handling the clothes for over twenty years established the link between the asbestos and the woman’s condition, which resulted in her death.

. . .The success rate for hip replacement surgery is generally very high, for young and old alike. Recently, when doctors have seen some patients not recovering, the number of complaints have been rising against certain manufacturers of hip implants, due to a high failure rate.

. . .The Illinois Supreme Court held that a hospital that gives away less than one percent of its annual revenue in free patient care does not qualify for a charitable property tax exemption. This case involved Provena Hospitals, a not for profit corporation affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. In the past, Provena Hospital was exempt from payment of real estate taxes, citing its charitable tax exemption. There will be more developments in this area in the future, as two justices took no part in the decision and two more dissented from the majority.