Sanctions are an extreme remedy; frequently sought, but seldom granted. Such was the case in Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s action on behalf of hotel and casino, Treasure Island, LLC (“Treasure Island”), against Affiliated FM Insurance Company (“AFM”) in federal court in Nevada, where AFM “hid” documents which refute the insurer’s defense on the central disputed issue in Treasure Island’s case—and many more actions seeking insurance coverage for losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. A copy of the sanctions order can be found here.Continue Reading Insurer’s Failure to Produce Plainly Relevant Documents Draws Sanctions
On August 6, 2020, in Rose’s 1 LLC, et al. v. Erie Insurance Exchange, Civ. Case No. 2020 CA 002424 B, a District of Columbia trial court found in favor of an insurer on cross motions for summary judgment on the issue of whether COVID-19 closure orders constitute a “direct physical loss” under a commercial property policy.
Continue Reading D.C. Decision Finding No “Direct Physical Loss” for COVID-19 Closures Is Not Without Severe Limitations
Following New Jersey, where similar legislation remains under informal discussion, lawmakers in Ohio, Massachusetts, and New York have now introduced legislation that would provide relief to small businesses for COVID-19 business interruption losses. The legislation is conceptually identical to the legislation introduced in New Jersey, discussed here last week. Although the New Jersey bill was…
Last week, we reported that the New Jersey General Assembly passed a bill that would force property insurers to cover certain business interruption losses arising from COVID-19. The bill presented a lifeline to small businesses in New Jersey that are being racked by the economic fallout stemming from COVID-19. Before reaching the New Jersey…
On March 16, 2020, the New Jersey General Assembly passed a bill that would force property insurers to cover business interruption losses arising from the COVID-19 virus sustained by small businesses (less than 100 employees working more than 25 hours a week); a copy of the bill can be found here. Significantly, the bill would force coverage even where the insurer believes its policy should not apply. In particular, the bill provides that property policies in effect as of March 9, 2020, will be construed as providing “coverage for business interruption due to global virus transmission or pandemic,” including COVID-19. As written, the law would defeat any attempt by insurers to rely on exclusions that purport to preclude coverage for business income loss resulting from viruses, including the much-touted ISO CP 01 40 07 06 Virus or Bacteria Exclusion that insurer-side advocates have been championing as a purported bar to COVID-19 losses. The bill would provide much-needed relief to the New Jersey policyholders that are enduring the worst of COVID-19’s economic impact with the least ability to withstand it.
Continue Reading The New Jersey General Assembly Passes Bill Ensuring Business Income Coverage for COVID-19 Losses