Beginning today, June 2, 2021, and continuing on June 3rd, the American Bar Association will host attorneys for policyholders and insurance companies who will break down what to expect in future policy provisions as a result of Covid-19 claims and decisions. This two-day webinar will review key coverage issues and arguments being advanced and challenged by policyholders and insurers in the ongoing saga of Covid-19 business interruption litigation. I have the pleasure of participating in this webinar as a member of the panel. On June 3rd, my colleague and fellow Merlin Law Group attorney, Amy Currotto, will be speaking on New Policy Provisions and What to Expect.
One of the first topics which will be introduced at the COVID 19: Challenges for Litigators and Underwriters webinar will take a closer look into the “Decisions and Rationale” of the continuously growing volume of caselaw coming out across the United States, that are related to COVID-19 business interruption claims. This specific presentation will be hosted by long-time insurance defense attorney, John V. Garaffa of Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP, as well as myself. Join us as we dive into the trial court decisions on COVID-19 Claims and discuss the basis for those decisions and their procedural context.
As someone who is particularly interested in this novel topic and has posted numerous blogs on the subject, this presentation will allow me to provide insight into the most recent COVID-19 business interruption cases and decisions that are sweeping the nation.
While numerous courts all over the country take varying positions into their decisions and rationale when ultimately deciding these claims, it is important not only to analyze their decisions and emphasis on the significant language incorporated into these policies, but to also take a step back and look at the disputes from a 30,000 foot point of view. My discussion will dive into the subject’s inescapable tie to basic contract interpretation principles, as plenty of my other blog posts in the past have done.
The basic principles of contract interpretation continue to make an important impact on the decisions and rationale of the courts involved in these disputes. Although these basic contract interpretation principles are not always expressly discussed throughout the courts’ opinions, these principles surely play a role in the analysis of each specific claim. Courts consider principles such as:
- Ambiguous Policy Provisions are Construed Against the Drafter, and in Favor of Coverage
- Insurance Contracts as a Contract of Adhesion
- The Reasonable Expectation of the Insured Doctrine
Thus, while John and I are set to dive into specific caselaw and the rationale of legal arguments made within the subject of business interruption coverage for COVID-19 based claims, we will also be conversing about the basic contract interpretation principles that may play into a court’s legal analysis and decision-making process.
This COVID-19 insurance coverage conference kicks off on June 2nd, 2021, on a virtual platform, allowing guests to attend from the comfort of their home or office computer. Here is a link to register for the webinar. Our specific presentation, Decisions and Rationale, will begin on June 2nd at 3:00 PM eastern time.