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Judicial panel resistant to consolidating COVID-19 business interruption litigation

Responding to requests by plaintiffs who are pursuing lawsuits against insurers for COVID-19-related business losses, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML Panel) recently rejected two proposals for centralization.

Courts are weighing in on COVID-19 business interruption claims

COVID-19-related business interruption cases are winding their way through the court system, and one state court, in a matter of first impression, recently issued a decision against the business owner.

Rose’s 1, LLC v. Erie Ins. Exch.

D.C. court, ruling on parties’ motions for summary judgment, finds restaurant owners cannot show that mayor’s COVID-19-related closure orders constituted “direct physical loss” to the property, as required under the existing business interruption policy; court rules for insurer and closes case.

Court Says Restaurants Fail to Meet Requirements for COVID-19-Related Business Interruption Coverage

D.C. court, ruling on parties’ motions for summary judgment, finds restaurant owners cannot show that mayor’s COVID-19-related closure orders constituted “direct physical loss” to the property, as required under the existing business interruption policy; court rules for insurer and closes case.

BVU News and Trends July 2020

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

Michigan court decides COVID-19 business interruption claim; many more cases in the pipeline

COVID-19-related business interruption cases are winding their way through the court system, and one state court, in a matter of first impression, recently issued a decision.

BVU News and Trends June 2020

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

NetOne, Inc. v. Panache Destination Management

Court says plaintiff fails to show defendant breached contract in COVID-19-related damages case; plaintiff’s invocation of force majeure clause is futile where clause is silent as to whether plaintiff has a right to full deposit after termination of contract due to imposed travel restrictions.

Plaintiff’s COVID-Related Contract Claim Falters Despite Force Majeure Provision

Court says plaintiff fails to show defendant breached contract in COVID-19-related damages case; plaintiff’s invocation of force majeure clause is futile where clause is silent as to whether plaintiff has a right to full deposit after termination of contract due to imposed travel restrictions.

Business interruption trends and cases triggered by COVID-19

The gleaming billboards of Times Square went dark on May 27 for one minute to alert the nation that pandemic-related business interruption insurance claims are being denied by insurers.

BVU News and Trends May 2020

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

Does business interruption insurance decrease company-specific risk?

Business valuers often ‘tic the box’ on property and casualty insurance policies as part of their management interviews.

No act of God excuse for Victoria’s Secret buyer—February agreement excepted pandemic

In the wake of COVID-19, a number of buyers have resorted to force majeure (aka act of God) clauses to withdraw from deals.

Business interruption cases and the role financial experts can play

Filing a business interruption claim has become one of the go-to moves for businesses as they try to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. A discussion of two cases that were adjudicated just before the COVID-19 crisis came into relief explains the trajectory many claims, including claims arising out of the COVID-19 crisis, may take and points to opportunities for damages experts.

Business interruption cases and the role financial experts can play

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19, business owners have increasingly turned to business interruption insurance.

Binghamton Precast & Supply Corp. v Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

In dispute over business interruption insurance coverage, appellate court says plaintiff showed actual loss of business income within meaning of controlling policy; court rejects defendant’s argument that plaintiff had to show lost sales, saying this is not a reasonable interpretation of policy.

Court Affirms Plaintiff’s Showing of Loss of Income Pursuant to Business Interruption Policy

In dispute over business interruption insurance coverage, appellate court says plaintiff showed actual loss of business income within meaning of controlling policy; court rejects defendant’s argument that plaintiff had to show lost sales, saying this is not a reasonable interpretation of policy.

Legal avenues for businesses coping with COVID-19 disruption and damages

In Franchising in the Time of COVID-19, an ABA panel recently discussed the scope of the disruption the pandemic has caused for franchisees and franchisors as well as legal doctrines on which franchisees/franchisors might rely to deal with the monetary damages to their businesses.

Optical Works & Logistics, LLC v. Sentinel Ins. Co.

In business interruption case, court denies insurer’s summary judgment motion, finding plaintiff’s breach of contract suit raises many issues of material fact, including whether plaintiff’s fledgling business was ever viable and, but for insurer’s refusal to pay claim, could have resumed operations.

Business Interruption Claim Raises Triable Issue as to Viability of New Business, Court Finds

In business interruption case, court denies insurer’s summary judgment motion, finding plaintiff’s breach of contract suit raises many issues of material fact, including whether plaintiff’s fledgling business was ever viable and, but for insurer’s refusal to pay claim, could have resumed operations.

Edelson v. Cheung

In business dispute alleging breach and fraud, court adopts plaintiff expert’s methodology to value contested interest by way of the market approach; court notes expert well explained why the income approach was not available and the asset approach was too limited to provide an accurate valuation.

Court Agrees Market Approach Generates Most Accurate Value of Plaintiff’s Interest

In business dispute alleging breach and fraud, court adopts plaintiff expert’s methodology to value contested interest by way of the market approach; court notes expert well explained why the income approach was not available and the asset approach was too limited to provide an accurate valuation.

Bayou Place Limited Partnership v. Alleppo’s Grill, Inc.

In rent payment dispute, court rejects defendant restaurant’s force majeure claim that devastating hurricane was act of God that interfered with restaurant’s use of property and excused performance where lease did not contain force majeure provision and rent payments stopped before storm.

Defendants’ Force Majeure Defense Related to Hurricane Devastation Does Not Excuse Breach of Contract

In rent payment dispute, court rejects defendant restaurant’s force majeure claim that devastating hurricane was act of God that interfered with restaurant’s use of property and excused performance where lease did not contain force majeure provision and rent payments stopped before storm.

Great Hill Equity Partners IV, LP v. SIG Growth Equity Fund I, LLP

Court rejects plaintiff’s damages calculation related to sweeping fraud and contract breach allegations where plaintiff submitted expert report before court’s liability rulings and failed to offer revised expert report after liability trial; damages were not sufficiently tied to proven wrongs.

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