Business interruption and other legal claims arising out of COVID-19 crisis

Just as the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 brought businesses and economic activity to a sudden halt, an ABA panel discussed the grave effects on businesses and the legal doctrines available to business owners to mitigate the economic injury stemming from business interruption and unforeseeable circumstances.

Many business owners have turned to business interruption insurance to find relief from the mounting losses resulting from a breakdown in the supply chain and the business's inability to offer services and produce goods. But, as the ABA panel discussion makes clear, not every insurance policy provides virus protection and not every claimed injury from the virus will satisfy the required legal showing. 

Any business interruption claim has to start with a review of the individual policy and an understanding of what losses are covered or exempted from coverage, the panel explains.

Further, businesses may also seek recourse in so-called force majeure (FM) clauses to avoid certain contractual obligations. Whether this legal doctrine is applicable in a given case also depends on the language of a particular contract, the ABA speakers explain.

Read more about the analysis underlying the use of these legal doctrines here