Commercial Insurance Appellate Litigation

Commercial Insurance Appellate Litigation by Lydecker

The insurance coverage practice attorneys at Lydecker regularly represents international insurance carriers, third-party administrators, and insurance brokers on a wide array of insurance policy and coverage issues from the inception of a claim through trial, as well as any bad faith litigation stemming therefrom.

Our attorneys routinely assist carriers by providing opinions concerning coverage and defense opinions involving complex insurance issues, novel issues of law, and interpretations of specialized/manuscript insurance policies, reservation of rights, settlement agreements, cost-sharing agreements, and administrative responses (Civil Remedy Notices) involving statutory bad faith claims.

The firm also regularly handles insurance coverage litigation, as well as insurance disputes resolved through alternative dispute resolutions, including mediations and arbitration proceedings.

Lydecker’s Appellate Practice Division regularly handles appeals in the various Florida District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Our Appellate Practice group provides a full range of services in state, federal, and administrative cases. The Firm handles numerous high-stakes appeals, issues of the first impression, cases with industry-wide significance, and multi-party suits.

Why Insurance Professionals Need a Strong Appellate Attorney In High-Stakes Insurance Litigation

In this video, we will explain

  • Why Insurance Professionals Need to take Appellate Law Into Consideration
  • How Insurance Professionals Choose the Right Law Firm
  • How Appellate Lawyers Succeed for Insurance Professionals
  • How Appellate Lawyers Avoid Overturning of Insurance Cases
  • Why Insurance Professionals Choose Lydecker

ABOUT FORREST ANDREWS

Thank you Forrest Andrews for providing this insightful education for insurance professionals.

Forrest Andrews is a Florida Board-Certified Appellate Attorney and Partner with Lydecker, a full-service law firm with more than 80 attorneys and with offices in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

As one of only about 100 Board-Certified Appellate Attorneys in Florida, Forrest brings deep and broad experience in appellate, commercial, and state and federal litigation in high-profile cases.

Forrest provides litigation support services to trial counsel by developing effective strategies at the trial level in anticipation of an appeal. He is often brought in at the beginning of a case to guide insurance clients to identify the issues to raise, the arguments to make, and the procedures to navigate.


ABOUT LYDECKER

Lydecker is a Full-Service AV-rated national law firm with offices throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Since its founding, Lydecker has built a distinguished history of skilled and effective legal service to its clients.

Visit www.lydeckerlaw.com

*Please note that watching this video does not create an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, please do not comment with any confidential or otherwise sensitive information without first speaking to one of our attorneys and receiving confirmation that a conflicts check has been performed, conflicts cleared, and the firm has agreed it will accept the engagement. Any information submitted prior to establishing an attorney-client relationship may not be protected. Thank you.

Business Interruption Coverage in Light of COVID-19

Business Interruption Coverage in Light of COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the lives of the world’s population, substantial insurance issues have arisen in its wake. Most of these issues relate to whether commercial property insurance policies and/or other policies which include coverage for business interruption, extra income, and acts of civil authority cover losses as a result of the forced shutdown of U.S. businesses.

At their heart, policies of insurance are nothing more than contracts. We have already seen countless actions filed and anticipate there will be a flood of challenges from both a declaratory judgment and breach of contract perspective for any denials based upon:

  • the pandemic event exclusions that have been quietly inserted over the last several years after the SARS-CoV virus, as well as;
  • the general business interruption clause requiring the existence of direct physical loss to a business location.

While a strong argument exists that a virus that affects individuals is not a direct physical loss to a business, the virus itself has been studied and proven to survive on surfaces for a prolonged period of time. These arguments underpin the various state and federal actions filed throughout the U.S.

Notable Insurance Coverage Actions

Some of the more notable coverage actions relating to COVID-19 include:

  • El Novillo Restaurant et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London et al. (Florida).  Filed as a class action by multiple south Florida restaurants and similarity situated parties and relying upon the civil authority provision of the commercial property policies at issue.
  • Cajun Conti, LLC, et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s et al. (Louisiana). Filed by a chain of New Orleans restaurants. Plaintiffs argue that contamination of the insured premises by COVID-19 would be a direct physical loss, which would trigger coverage under the relevant policy.
  • SCGM, Inc. et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s (Texas). Filed by a movie theater chain. The endorsement at issue (purportedly created after the Ebola Pandemic in or around 2014), allegedly covers business losses resulting from a “Pandemic Event.” Plaintiff alleges that the policy in question defines “Pandemic Event” to mean “the announcement by a Public Health Authority that a specific Covered Location is being closed as a result of an Epidemic declared by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] or [World Health Organization].” The endorsement also included named certain covered diseases and variations or mutations of said covered diseases. Plaintiff alleges that one named covered disease is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) disease, and that COVID-19 is a variation/mutation of said SARS-CoV.

Legislative Remedies for Business Interruption Coverage

In light of these coverage actions, the U.S. federal government has already contemplated a number of legislative remedies, including:

  • The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020, which has been proposed by the United States House of Committee on Financial Services, seeks to create a federal backstop for pandemic insurance losses in excess of $250,000,000. Based on a discussion draft for the bill, losses in excess of an individual insurer’s deductible would be shared between the U.S. Government and the insurer, with the U.S. Government paying 95%. The program is modeled after the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which was enacted in light of the terrorism-related insurance claims following 9/11.
  • The Business Interruption Insurance Coverage Act of 2020, which provides that each insurer that offers or makes available business interruption insurance coverage shall cover losses resulting from any viral pandemic, any forced closure of business or mandatory evacuation, by law or order of any government or governmental officer or agency (including the federal government and state and local governments), or any power shut-off conducted for public safety purposes. Of note, the legislation would nullify any exclusion that excludes losses that are covered by the Act, and preempts any state approval of said exclusions. Carriers have the ability to reinstate these exclusions, but said reinstatement requires either authorization from the insured, or the insured fails to pay any increased premium charged for business interruption coverage (any notice is provided).

If you have any questions about COVID-19 and its effect on your business or operations, please contact our offices at (305)416-3180.

Please note that submitting a message to us using this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, please do not submit to us any confidential or otherwise sensitive information without first speaking to one of our attorneys and receiving confirmation that a conflicts check has been performed, conflicts cleared, and the firm has agreed it will accept the engagement. Any information submitted prior to establishing an attorney-client relationship may not be protected. Thank you.

Please note that submitting a message to us using this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, please do not submit to us any confidential or otherwise sensitive information without first speaking to one of our attorneys and receiving confirmation that a conflicts check has been performed, conflicts cleared, and the firm has agreed it will accept the engagement. Any information submitted prior to establishing an attorney-client relationship may not be protected. Thank you.

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