This past week Merlin Law Group attorneys, Amy Currotto and I, had the pleasure of participating in the American Bar Association’s two-day webinar titled “COVID 19: Challenges for Litigators and Underwriters.” As was described in my previous blog post, the online conference allowed property insurance attorneys from many different backgrounds to review and discuss key coverage issues, as well as provide listeners with the insight and arguments being advanced and challenged by policyholders and insurers in the ongoing saga of COVID-19 business interruption litigation.
Continue Reading COVID-19: Challenges for Litigators and Underwriters – A Discussion with John Garaffa on the Decisions and Rationale of Recent Business Interruption Cases

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.
Continue Reading Sneak Peek at the American Bar Association Live Webinar: COVID 19: Challenges for Litigators and Underwriters – How Do Basic Contract Interpretation Principles Tie into the Latest Court Decisions and Rationale?

On June 2-3, 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 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.
Continue Reading American Bar Association Sponsors Webinar on Covid-19 Business Interruption Litigation

Over the past few days, many enjoyed watching what’s been dubbed March Madness. The 64-team college basketball tournament usually draws a massive and lucrative following. People who don’t allocate any time watching basketball during the year will often time tune in to watch all of the madness that March has to offer.
Continue Reading NCAA’s March Madness Business (Bracket) Interruption Insurance Payout

As the United States battle vs. COVID-19 rages on, the battle within the (albeit virtual) court rooms are just starting to take off. Courts across the country are faced with the ultimate question: whether the widespread presence of the COVID-19 virus and resulting governmental closure orders constitute a fortuitous loss causing direct physical loss to insured property owners’ properties.
Continue Reading Ambiguities in Civil Authority Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Business Losses: “Prohibiting,” “Preventing,” “Denying” – What is the Difference?

The Insurance Services Office (commonly referred to as the “ISO”) is involved with virtually person, business, association, and governmental entity in the United States. Most people have no idea what it is and how important of a role it plays in the background of risk, finance, and insurance. Today, many businesses want transparency in the form of internal documents to know what role it played making all risk business interruption policy forms and virus exclusions which insurers claim allegedly does not afford coverage for their income losses caused by COVID-19.
Continue Reading What is the Insurance Services Office?

The first lawsuit and first tried case regarding the business interruption issues related to COVID-19 was won by the insurance carrier. Here is a copy of the brief Order finding in favor of the insurer.

Regardless of the outcome, my hat is off to John Houghtaling for bringing the action and being a relentless advocate for policyholders in the courtroom and in the halls of Congress. He deserves to receive the Policyholder Attorney of the Year at the Win The Storm Conference which will be held in New Orleans at the end of the month.
Continue Reading Chip At @2 Will Be At 2:30 With Update on New Orleans Oceana COVID Trial Won By the Insurer

Insurance business interruption coverage has terms, philosophies, and calculations which are foreign to many. Lawyers for insurers will often challenge me by asking for a case which says their interpretation for some practice is wrong while looking for every manner “to win” by paying as little as possible. This mindset is what lead to a number of judges being duped into believing and ruling that the insurance industry meant that a business had to completely shut down in order to prove that business operations were “suspended.”
Continue Reading Suspension of Business Was Never Intended to Mean Total Cessation of Business Operations—Insurance Lawyers Duping Judges into Wrong Insurance Contract Interpretations

Since 1991, United Policyholders has been a voice for policyholders and an organization that has taken action in legislative, judicial, and consumer venues to assist policyholders and promote policyholders’ best interests. One example is their Amicus Project. They have written appellate briefs in 42 states and in more than 450 cases. United Policyholders briefs have been cited by numerous state supreme courts and the United States Supreme Court. Last week, United Policyholders filed an amicus brief in the Mama Jo’s case. The case and the Petition for review to the United States Supreme Court was recently discussed by Iris Kuhn in, Restaurant Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Eleventh Circuit’s Ruling on “Direct Physical Loss.”
Continue Reading United Policyholders Notes How the Mama Jo’s Case Was Wrongly Decided and Now Harming Proper Legal Analysis of Business Interruption Coverage Cases