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In a year packed with difficult news, there were still numerous moments the entertainment industry supplied immeasurable joy.

Whether it was red carpet returns, rekindled loves or Hollywood shakeups, there was plenty to celebrate. Join Wonderwall.com as we run through some of the celebrities and pop culture events from the last year that we're thankful for... One of the most high-profile couples of all time made a massive comeback in 2021: Bennifer! At the start of the year, Ben Affleck was still dating actress Ana de Armas and Jennifer Lopez was planning a wedding with Alex Rodriguez. But Ben and Ana broke up a few months later, followed by J.Lo and A-Rod. Weeks after both stars officially became single, Bennifer was back on 17 years after they called it quits and ended an engagement. In late April, reports revealed Ben had been spending time at J.Lo's Los Angeles home, and photos of them in Miami and Montana confirmed that they were giving things another go. The romance, it seems, can be attributed to the power of the pen (electronically speaking): TMZ reported on May 11 that Ben began emailing Jennifer in the spring while she was in the Dominican Republic filming "Shotgun Wedding." The actor was "loving and longing for Jen" in the messages, TMZ claimed. The pair debuted their rekindled love on the red carpet at the Venice International Film Festival in September to support Ben's film "The Last Duel." It wasn't long before they also rocked the Met Gala and another premiere as a couple, refusing to keep anything about their love a secret.

Keep reading for more of our favorite pop culture moments from 2021 that have us giving thanks…

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Tort Reform Prompts Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Rates to Decline for Ninth Consecutive Year

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Staff at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) announced Tuesday that in 2022 workers’ compensation insurance premiums are likely to decline for most Tennessee businesses for the ninth consecutive year.

TDCI officials, in a press release, attribute the savings to workers comp reforms that the state enacted in the previous decade.

“Since Tennessee’s workers’ compensation system reforms began in 2014, loss cost reductions of over 59 percent have been approved, representing substantial savings for Tennessee employers,” according to the TDCI press release.

“The reduced loss costs are also impacted by Tennessee employers seeing fewer significant workplace injuries.”

TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence this month approved a 5.6 percent overall loss cost decrease beginning March 1, 2022 on new and renewal policies, the press release said.

“Tennessee employers and employees have faced and overcome numerous challenges in recent years,” Lawrence said.

“These reductions reflect the continued trend of safer workplaces and will mean Tennessee employers may now have more money to invest back into their businesses and employees which will help bolster Tennessee’s economy.”

State legislators in 2014 enacted tort reform laws.

With certain exceptions, the new law placed a $750,000 cap on non-economic damages and caps punitive damages of two times the compensatory damages, or $500,000, whichever is greater.

The Tennessee Supreme Court last year upheld the state’s tort reform law.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said at the time that “one unfortunate lawsuit can cause outsized trouble for any business.”

“In Tennessee, there is a statutory cap on noneconomic damages (such as pain and suffering, and punitive damages) of $750,000, with some exceptions for particularly bad actors. This law came under fire recently when plaintiffs challenged the validity of the statute, hoping to cash in by collecting more than the $750,000 authorized by law. In a decision released on February 26, 2020, the Tennessee Supreme Court disagreed with the plaintiffs and upheld the statute,” according to the NFIB.

“Specifically, the plaintiffs argued that the Tennessee damages cap was unconstitutional under state law for three reasons: (1) the statute violated the right to trial by jury; (2) the statute violated the separation of powers between the legislative branch and the judicial branch; and (3) the statute discriminated disproportionately against women. The Tennessee Supreme Court disagreed on all three counts.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Injured Employee” by Victoria_Borodinova.

 

 

 

 

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