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Big Win for Insurance Company in Recent New York Supreme Court Business Interruption Coverage Suit: Judge Rules Loss of Property Use Due to COVID-19 Does Not Trigger Business Interruption Coverage

Author: Rachael Marvin, Robert Modica

February 19, 2021 8:50am

A movie theater is on the hook for business losses due to COVID-19 shutdown orders after the New York Supreme Court in Nassau County ruled that the loss of the use of the premises due to COVID-19 does not constitute a direct physical loss triggering business interruption coverage. In a big win for the insurance company, Judge Driscoll recognized that New York precedent requires a tangible physical alteration to the policyholder’s property, which did not occur.

Developments in Business Interruption Insurance Coverage and Litigation Due to COVID-19

Author: Tina Ma, Mike Coffey

Guest Editor: Ashley Kaye

February 1, 2021 8:28pm

As coronavirus cases continue to rise, lockdown and stay at home orders have returned, shutting down and limiting business operations.  As such, it is likely the number of business interruption claims will increase in the upcoming months.  Historically, business interruption insurance cover claims arising from natural disasters and most policies contain a specific exclusion for damages arising from a virus.  Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020…

What to Expect from Future Business Interruption Coverage Cases in New Jersey: COVID-19 Closures May Be Considered a Covered Loss

Author: Rachael Marvin, Robert Modica

Guest Editors: Amy Chambers, Ashley Kaye

January 11, 2021 9:00am

Two important lawsuits have paved the way for business interruption coverage cases in New Jersey due to COVID-19: Optical Services USA v. Franklin Mutual Insurance Co. and Mac Property Group LLC v. Selective Fire & Casualty Insurance Co. Both are recent Superior Court decisions, decided on August 13, 2020, and November 5, 2020, respectively. In both cases, New Jersey Superior Courts addressed the key issue of whether…

Ninth Circuit Rejects “Improper Erosion” Theory Asserted by Excess Carrier

Author: Tina Ma, Mike Coffey

Guest Editors: Amy Chambers, Ashley Kaye

January 11, 2021 9:00am

On September 14, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit limited an excess insurers’ ability to second-guess lower-level carriers’ coverage payment decisions, absent evidence of fraud, bad faith, or a contractual provision reserving the right to challenge such decisions.  This matter was an issue of first impression for the Ninth Circuit panel.

S21/A21: New Jersey Aims for Modern Approach to Cannabis Legalization in 2021

Author: Rachael Marvin

Guest Editors: Jeremy Freedman, Ashley Kaye

November 30, 2020 4:06pm

New Jersey’s proposed Senate Bill S21 would legalize the personal use of cannabis for adults over 21. The bill, introduced on November 5, 2020, removes marijuana as a schedule I drug and allows for state regulation by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Once retail sales of cannabis have begun, possessing, purchasing, and transporting cannabis will no longer be an offense under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice.

Proposed S8587 Declares Agreements Exempting Employers From Liability for Negligence Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic Void and Unenforceable

Author: Kiley McCarthy Connolly

Guest Editor: Jenn N. Crittondon

November 2, 2020 3:00pm

In proposed New York Senate Bill S8587, the legislature is considering passing a law which declares agreements exempting employers from liability for negligence related to the COVID-19 pandemic void and unenforceable. The bill is sponsored by Senator Liu, Senator Biaggi, and Senator Carlucci and was introduced to the New York Senate on June 16, 2020.

Avoid Pitfalls for Failure to Comply With New York State’s New Paid Sick Leave Law

Author: Sherri Jayson

Guest Editor: Jenn N. Crittondon

November 2, 2020 3:00pm

While New York City and Westchester County had already enacted paid sick leave laws, beginning January 1, 2021, nearly all New York employers will be required to provide paid sick leave to their employees pursuant to the recently enacted New York Labor Law § 196-b.  As accrual of paid leave begins three months before it can be used, employers should have commenced the calculation and accounting of these benefits as of September 30, 2020.

New York Anti-SLAPP Law No Longer Just a Slap on the Wrist

Author: Amy Chambers

Guest Editor: Allen Aho

September 1, 2020 8:30am

In April, 2020, we reported on the anticipated passage of Senate Bill S52, which sought to broaden the scope of New York’s anti-SLAPP laws.  On July 22, 2020, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed the legislation, and it now awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature.  If the Governor signs the legislation, it will go into effect immediately.

Bad Faith Migrates North – is New York Next?

Author: Mike Coffey, Matthew Majd

August 3, 2020 11:00am

The state of New York is on the brink of making a costly mistake in regard to their unfair claim settlement practices. Following the lead of Florida and California, there is currently legislation that is on the fast-track to being passed in New York that would make it far easier to sue insurance companies for alleged “bad faith”. Additionally, Assembly Bill 5623 would also extend standing to third parties, which would allow them to bring direct causes of action against insurers. Looking at the big picture here, the passage…

New York Bill Narrows Liability Immunity for Nursing Homes and Hospitals

Author: Emily Berman

Guest Editor: Cinnamon J. Carr

August 3, 2020 10:53am

This week, the New York legislature approved a measure that would narrows the legal immunity law that gave hospitals and nursing homes broad protections against potential coronavirus litigation. The immunity law, which was passed in Spring 2020, gave hospitals and nursing homes cover from possible lawsuits related to the coronavirus crisis. The new bill keeps the immunity law intact overall, but removes protections against…

I Hired the Lawyer, Not the Law Firm, Right?

Author: Sean McGah

Guest Editor: Wendy Skillman

July 8, 2020 12:00pm

Clients will often declare they signed on with a particular law firm not because of the reputation, size, culture, etc. of a law firm, but rather because that law firm employed the lawyer the client wanted to defend his, her, or its case.  But what happens should that lawyer depart the firm?  Many clients might think their case automatically goes with the lawyer to his or her new firm.  Does the lawyer  owe a duty to the client to continue representing the client?  In New York, this premise was…

2020 Revolutionized Standards of Civility in New York – with a Peer Interview of Tyson & Mendes Partner Mike Coffey

Author: Kiley McCarthy Connolly

Guest Editor: Wendy Skillman

Featured: Mike Coffey

July 8, 2020 12:00pm

In New York, 2020 brought an emphasis on civility and a remodel of its Standards of Civility.   The New York State Bar Association’s President, Michael Miller, explained, “The Standards of Civility have been modernized for the first time since their initial 1997 adoption, particularly concerning communications where technological advances have been substantial, and also expanded to include transactional and other non-litigation settings.”

New York State Looks to Broaden anti-SLAPP Statute Adding Additional Tool to the Defense Litigator’s Arsenal

Author: Amy Chambers

Guest Editor: Raymond K. Wilson Jr.

April 6, 2020 3:06pm

Anti-SLAPP statutes provide procedural mechanisms to deter meritless lawsuits meant to chill speech or petitioning activity, otherwise known as “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” or “SLAPP” suits.  In essence, these lawsuits are used to burden the defendant with the cost of a legal defense until the defendant abandons whatever speech gave rise to the lawsuit.  In response to these types of lawsuits, many jurisdictions…

Out-of-possession Owners With HUD Contracts Not Out-of-luck

Author: Po Waghalter

January 8, 2020 11:00am

The Court of Appeal recently granted a win to property owner lessors with Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) contracts. Specifically, the Court decided that premises liability would not be expanded to out-of-possession lessors simply based on covenants in their contracts with HUD.

New York Case Law Update

Author: Emily Straub

January 8, 2020 11:00am

Ludwig v. Van Horn, 2019 WL 6720476
Magassouba v. Cascione, Purcigliotti & Galluzzi, P.C., 2019 WL 6749586
Rabinovich v. Maimonides Medical Center, 2019 WL 6519430

New York Case Law Update

Author: Amy Chambers

November 5, 2019 8:00am

Benedicto Brito v. Rafael Gomez, et al., 2019 NY Slip Op 06452
Michele Martin, et al. v. Edward M. Timmins, et al. 2019 NY Slip Op 07391

Breaking Down New York’s Child Victims Act

Author: Harry Harrison

Guest Editor: Wendy Skillman

September 30, 2019 10:00am

In New York, 2019 has brought sweeping changes to the time limits applicable to matters arising from childhood sexual abuse. Through what is commonly known as the Child Victims Act (“CVA”), legal action for childhood sexual abuse will be available for longer periods of time and many civil cases previously barred by the passage of time may now be pursued by individuals alleging abuse suffered as children. New York is no longer one of the most…

New York Case Law Update

Author: Emily Berman

Guest Editor: Wendy Skillman

September 30, 2019 10:00am

Travelers Indemnity Co. et al v. Northrop Grumman Corp et al.
Underwriters at Lloyds of London v. Illinois National Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania et al.
In Re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation

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