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Articles Tagged with Business Law

law-40007_1280-247x300As plaintiffs’ lawyers representing both people and businesses, we are no strangers to dealing with insurance companies and making them pay. We have seen some very interesting developments in the insurance world since the spread of COVID-19.

The first thing we noticed: adjusters and defense attorneys started calling and offering to settle cases. We were not surprised. The insurers’ money is tied up in the markets, and the markets suddenly became uncertain. In any time of great uncertainty, people want to regain certainty. One of the things worth knowing is that big business is often willing to pay more to obtain certainty. And insurance companies are renowned for being risk-averse, certainty-seeking enterprises. (Just watch Ben Stiller in the movie “Along Came Polly.”)

The second thing we saw: insurance companies started denying claims under commercial policies for business interruption insurance coverage. Businesses everywhere are shutting down or slowing down in the wake of COVID-19. Many paid insurance premiums for years, thinking they had business interruption insurance coverage. Now, when they need it, the insurance companies are denying the claims.

business-contract-962355_1920-1-1024x768The web of commercial contracts between businesses is essential to our community. Under ordinary circumstances, the courts provide the mechanism to enforce contracts and provide the commercial certainty that communities need for a thriving economy.

These are not ordinary times.

Few commercial contracts contemplated a “global pandemic” and you probably won’t find the term in your written agreements. Yet, as shops close and we shelter in place, businesses are wondering where they stand regarding their contractual obligations, which may have become impossible to perform. Some businesses are unable to perform because they have been ordered to close. Other businesses are unable to perform due to supply chain interruptions. Others are unable to perform because their employees are quarantined.

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