Courts across the country have split on the key COVID-19 coverage question of whether a policyholder’s inability to fully operate its business caused by COVID-19 restrictions would satisfy the policy’s business interruption coverage requirement that the “loss” had to be a result from a “suspension of operations” caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to covered property.”
Continue Reading Multi-District Litigation Policyholders Win a Business Interruption Coverage Battle Over “Direct Physical Loss”

The efficient resolution of civil litigation in time and money should be a concern of all attorneys and judges. The first time I met Rene Sigman was in a Galveston, Texas, courthouse where the judge had just asked lawyers for suggestions on how to streamline discovery for thousands of cases following Hurricane Ike in 2008. While Rene was not with our firm at that time, she was very vocal about what worked to get the evidence insurers did not want to turn over and how to do it quickly. I am proud that she is now a member of our firm and volunteers her time to help make the civil justice system better by working with The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System on catastrophe protocols to be followed in litigation. She worked on the most recent protocols involving the COVID-19 business interruption lawsuits.
Continue Reading Business Interruption Discovery for COVID-19 Lawsuits—Suggested Protocols for Judges to Follow

We are happy to share with the insurance world a very positive development on COVID-19 Business Interruption cases – from Orange County, a conservative jurisdiction. The credit for this victory goes to our friends at Covington & Burling LLP, who we have been working closely with to advance justice for policyholders. A special shout-out is owed to Rani Gupta, Joan Li, David Goodwin, and Jad Khazem for this win, as the specific allegations of physical alteration were the driving force behind the victory and are instructive for future success.
Continue Reading Court Rules in Favor of Goodwill on COVID-19 Business Interruption Matter

Across the country claims for business income loss presented by policyholders to their insurers and the suits that follow for business interruption caused by COVID-19 and government regulatory closures have not fared well. Most policyholders who have suffered a suspension of business operations have been denied their policy claims when relying on policy clauses covering “direct physical loss of or physical damage” to the policyholders’ place of business. Likewise, when these denied claims become lawsuits, some courts have dismissed cases based on an interpretation that the coronavirus cannot cause property damage at the policyholder’s place of business.
Continue Reading Barbershop Allowed to Pursue Business Interruption Loss Caused by COVID-19 Pursuant to a Policy Provision Containing Time Element Coverage

I grew up being a baseball player. From the time I was old enough to stand and throw a ball, baseball was a large part of my life. It taught me valuable life lessons like winning and losing, leadership, playing with a team, hard work and dedication. I played all four years I attended Johns Hopkins and even earned some mediocre accolades with these stats. This baseball season was strange due to the pandemic. It was shortened to sixty games, DH across the entire league and the craziest change, no fans. Prior to the Major League Baseball (“MLB”) season starting, I found myself starved for baseball and watching the Korean baseball league on ESPN.
Continue Reading Major League Baseball Sues AIG Over COVID-19 Claims

Happy Thanksgiving!

Claims Journal published an article earlier this week, The Key to Winning COVID Business-Interruption Claims: Say the Virus is Present, quoting me from last Friday’s Forum at 2. I discussed the Chloe’s Café brief we filed in California,1 and provided a copy to the audience. The press and others must have watched the episode, and they noted:
Continue Reading Friday Forum at 2 Watched by Insurance Media Regarding Business Interruption and Civil Authority Claims

Note: This guest post is by Kevin Dandridge, certified OSHA instructor and owner of 1 Life Safety. He has certifications in OSHA 500, Asbestos, Lead, CFM, NFPA 70 arc Flash Instruction, disaster worker instruction, MEWP, scissor lift, forklift, and First Aid/CPR/AED instruction, as well as others.

Good morning. I hope you and your workers are doing the absolute best to stay safe during the current pandemic. Also, OSHA has released another mandate for staying safe during the crisis.
Continue Reading OSHA Compliance in a Pandemic World

My husband and I moved from New York City to Florida. Almost every summer we traveled back to New York for wedding season and this summer was no different for us. Just as the wedding season is getting into full swing, so are event cancellations due to COVID-19 pandemic. Last weekend alone, I received several calls from friends and family cancelling their weddings and baby showers until the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided. The novel coronavirus has caused major events around the world to be cancelled or postponed, further exacerbating the economic hardship.
Continue Reading Tis the Season – Cancelled Due To COVID-19!