Colorado Restaurant Failed to Prove Physical Loss from COVID-19

Author: Michael D. Drews

Guest Editor: Grace Shuman

October 29, 2021 9:00am

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, restauranteurs are facing a litany of issues.  With changing governmental restrictions, restaurants have had to adapt more than most businesses.  Some restauranteurs have taken to the courts to try and recoup losses.  In a recent Colorado case, the court examined loss coverage stemming from the pandemic.

Exposure to First-Party Insurance Bad Faith Claims in Colorado

Author: Michael D. Drews

Guest Editor: Kiran Gupta

April 2, 2021 9:00am

Claims for bad faith breach of insurance contract can arise in first-party and third-partyi contexts. This article will address the former. First-party bad faith cases involve an insurance company refusing to make or delaying payments owed directly to its insured under a first-party policy such as life, health, disability, property, fire, or no-fault auto insurance. ii In essence, the insurer’s actions expose the insured to being personally liable for the monetary obligations underlying the insured’s claims.

Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act: Prohibitions, Requirements, Penalties, and Allowable Actions

December 14, 2020 9:00am

Colorado employers, public and private, should prepare to comply with the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA), which will become law on January 1, 2021. The law, formerly Senate Bill SB19-085, contains significant regulations regarding salary requirements, job postings, allowable interview questions, and other aspects of employment. Due to the wide-ranging requirements and impacts of the EPEWA, even employers with equitable workplace practices ought to carefully consider the requirements of the new law to ensure compliance.

Colorado’s Approach to Resolve a Conflict of Laws

Author: Michael D. Drews

Guest Editor: Jeremy Freedman

November 30, 2020 4:30pm

Have you ever been faced with a situation where an insurance policy was issued in one state, but a motor vehicle accident involving the covered auto occurs in another? Of course, the first step is to consult the policy and locate the choice of law provision, but what do you do when there is not one contained in the policy?

One Way a Plaintiff May Try to Get Around Colorado’s Noneconomic Cap in a Wrongful Death Case: Claim a Felonious Killing

Author: Michael D. Drews

Guest Editor: David Kahn

October 5, 2020 1:35pm

The Colorado wrongful death statute specifies who may file a wrongful death claim, including time limits to each potential plaintiff’s ability to commence an action. The surviving spouse of decedent is the only person who may file a wrongful death claim in the first year after death. During the second year after death, both the surviving spouse and the surviving children of decedent are allowed to file a claim. If the decedent left no surviving spouse and no surviving children, then decedent’s parents may file a wrongful death claim.

“No Helmet, No Problem,” but Defendants Pay for It: Colorado’s Lack of a Helmet Law

Author: Michael D. Drews

Guest Editor: David Kahn

September 1, 2020 8:30am

Us Generation Xer’s will be the last generation who can recall a life in a world without internet, computer dependency, cellphones, safe playgrounds, and, the subject of this article, wearing helmets while riding our bicycles (we are also the last generation to recall what really good music sounds like, but I digress).  As apathetic Gen Xers retired their flannel and baggy clothes in favor of becoming responsible parents, it would be unthinkable to not outfit our children with a helmet.  Statistics support the use of a helmet…

Colorado’s Seatbelt Law and the Effect on a Plaintiff’s Damages for Not Buckling Up

Author: Michael D. Drews

July 8, 2020 12:00pm

Everyone is aware of the “Click It or Ticket” national campaign to ensure drivers and passengers buckle up to reduce traffic related injuries and deaths on our highways. Of course, that campaign is aimed toward the traffic infraction/moving violation punitive side of the justice system, not civil matters. So, what happens in Colorado when a plaintiff commences a civil suit for injuries and damages sustained in a motor vehicle accident, but he or she failed to use a seatbelt?

Colorado’s Premises Liability Act: History, Definitions, Defenses, and Practical Considerations

Author: Michael D. Drews

June 1, 2020 9:00am

The Colorado Supreme Court said it best: “the law of premises liability in Colorado has had something of a checkered history.” In 1971, the Court overruled the common-law distinctions between trespassers, licensees, and invitees in determining the standard of care owed by the occupier of land towards those who come upon the land, because those principles occasioned harsh…

So Plaintiff Filed in the Wrong Colorado Venue Against an Insured Foreign Business Entity: Now What?

Author: Michael D. Drews

Guest Editor: Christopher Schon

May 6, 2020 7:26pm

We tend to see plaintiffs filing in the wrong venue when the insured is a foreign business entity.  Reason being, foreign business entities are, by their very definition, organized under the laws of another state, so the appropriate venue is not always so clear.  When plaintiffs do it wrong in Colorado, they typically have filed the lawsuit in Boulder or Denver County.  Why?  Because those two jurisdictions tend to be the most liberal, plaintiff friendly…

Update: Colorado’s Damages Caps Have Officially Increased for the First Time in 12 Years

Author: Michael D. Drews

March 4, 2020 10:00am

In July 2019, we explained in an article, entitled: “Colorado’s Damages Caps will Increase for the First Time in 12 Years on January 1, 2020,” Senate Bill 19-109 had been signed into law, which would raise the caps on noneconomic damages, derivative noneconomic damages, wrongful death, solatium, and dram shop/social host statutes for inflation.[1]  However, at the time of writing the article, the new cap amounts going into…

Colorado’s Made Whole Doctrine and Its Effect on Subrogation Claims

Author: Michael D. Drews

December 2, 2019 10:00am

Colorado’s Made Whole Doctrine first appeared in 1989, in the case of Kral v. American Hardware Mut. Ins. Co.  However, the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision was limited to whether the enforcement of agreements reducing an insured’s liability for uninsured motorist coverage was proper when such enforcement would leave an insured less than fully compensated for loss caused by the negligent conduct of a financially irresponsible motorist.

In Colorado, Defendants May Seek the Discovery and Admissibility of Medical Lien Companies’ Amounts Paid Versus Amounts Billed

Author: Michael D. Drews

November 5, 2019 8:00am

An ever-increasing number of plaintiff’s firms in Colorado are sending their clients to medical lien companies, sometimes referred to as medical healthcare funding companies or medical bill factoring companies.  These companies partner with plaintiffs’ attorneys and work with physicians to: (1) elicit inflated bills from a healthcare provider; (2) pay the provider a discounted amount to satisfy the bills; and (3) assert a lien for the inflated…

Colorado Case Law Update

Author: Rachel Donnelly

August 7, 2019 10:00am

William Scholle v. Delta Air Line, Inc. (March 25, 2016, JVR No. 1605310035)
Kent Ryser v. Shelter Mutual Insurance Company (June 13, 2019)

Colorado Disclosure of Insurance Liability Coverage Law: Which Disclosures are Required, and When?

Author: Law Clerk

Guest Editor: Robert Bernstein

July 1, 2019 10:00am

On May 22, 2019, Governor of Colorado Jared Polis signed HSB 19-1283 into law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Once the new law goes into effect, claimants may be able to obtain substantially more information regarding policy limits prior to filing a suit. Insurance providers should be aware of the new law, and should be aware of the increased need to obtain defense council early in a case to avoid unnecessary litigation…

Colorado Case Law Update

Author: Terra Affourtit

Guest Editor: Robert Bernstein

July 1, 2019 10:00am

Eighth Amendment—Corporations—Excessive Fines—Workers’ Compensation Noncompliance
Colo. Dep’t of Labor & Emp’t, Div. of Workers’ Comp. v. Dami Hosp., LLC (June 3, 2019)
Dami Hospitality, LLC (“Dami”) is the owner-operator of a Denver motel. Dami employs between four and ten people at any given time. As an employer of three or more persons, Dami is required by statute to maintain…

Statute of Limitations Considerations in Colorado: Has Plaintiff Started the Party Too Late?

Author: Michael D. Drews

June 3, 2019 4:56pm

We are all familiar with the notion of statutes of limitations, with the legal terms having found its way into the average law person’s lexicon.  However, what appears to be a relatively simple legal theory can actually give rise to a multitude of considerations.  This article is intended as a survey of the commonly encountered ones, as well as a guide to evaluating a potential violations of an applicable statute of limitations.

Has a Plaintiff Really Exhausted His or Her Administrative Remedies in Discrimination-based Employment Lawsuits? A Tenth Circuit Prospective

Author: Michael D. Drews

May 6, 2019 1:08pm

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is responsible for enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (“EPA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”), Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”).

Colorado Bar Fights: Who is Liable? A Landlord, a Tavern Owner or Both?

Author: Michael D. Drews

Guest Editor: Christopher Schon

April 1, 2019 12:31pm

“Mean Streets,” “Roadhouse,” “Boondock Saints,” and “A Bronx Tale” all have epic bar fight scenes.  The common denominator is a tavern frequented by, let us just say, a rough crowd and a tavern owner who is presumably looking the other way.  Of course, it is just Hollywood.  Or is it?  What about our neighborhood watering holes?  Those establishments are not immune from the occasional or sometimes frequent disagreements among patrons devolving into fisticuffs or worse.

Colorado’s Construction Defect Action Reform Act: “If You Build It, [Lawsuits] Will Come”

Author: Michael D. Drews

March 4, 2019 9:00am

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Colorado’s population increased 13.2 percent between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2018.[i]  In the last full calendar year alone, Colorado added almost 80,000 people, making it the seventh fastest-growing state in the country.  Naturally, these new residents, in addition to the natives, need places to live, learn, shop, play, and get health care.  So it should be no surprise Colorado has experienced a building boom paralleling its population increase.

Colorado Case Law Update

Author: Rachel Donnelly

February 4, 2019 2:50pm

In re: Kayla Fox v. William Alfini, Jr. D.C. and Brady Chiropractic Group. P.C. (December 3, 2018, 2018 WL 6441601)

Background

Kayla Fox who was in her early thirties suffered a stroke immediately after receiving chiropractic treatment and survived. Fox and her parents later contacted an attorney to discuss a possible malpractice action against the chiropractor. The attorney recorded a portion of this initial consultation.

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