• Article | 6.21.24

    In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court recently delivered a significant opinion in maritime law. The holding in Great Lakes Insurance SE v. Raiders Retreat Realty Co, LLC, No. 22-500 stands for the proposition that choice-of-law clauses in maritime contracts are presumptively enforceable under federal maritime law, subject only to very narrow limited exceptions

  • Article | 6.21.24

    On June 18, 2024, Governor Gavin Newsom and several labor and business groups came to an agreement regarding the future of the highly contentious California Private Attorney General Act known as PAGA. The agreement proposes to pass bipartisan legislation amending the statute. Should the legislation pass, the agreement would successfully halt a November ballot initiative for the voters which proposed eliminating PAGA altogether. To date, the agreement has been welcomed by businesses who have long criticized widespread, abusive, and costly PAGA litigation. Although the proposed amendments add to a business's quiver of possible defenses, it remains to be seen how effective these will be, and we do not expect the amendments to halt the avalanche of PAGA litigation statewide.

  • Article | 6.18.24

    The recent Illinois appellate case of King v. El Paraiso Del Pacifico, Inc., 2024 IL App. (2d) 230026, has raised important considerations regarding the duty of care businesses owe to their patrons, particularly in relation to accidents caused by out-of-control drivers. In this case the court held that a car crashing through the front entrance of a restaurant was reasonably foreseeable and not an “intervening or superseding” cause of a patron’s injuries. The court determined that the accident fell within the scope of the business's duty of care. This decision is of high importance because previously the Illinois Supreme Court found there was reluctant to impose a duty to protect invitees against out-of-control drivers. This article will delve into the facts of the case, highlight the significance of this decision, and discuss its implications for businesses and insurance carriers in the state of Illinois.

  • Case Updates | 6.17.24

    The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled unanimously that standard commercial property insurance policies do not cover business interruption losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, aligning with many other courts around the country. The case, AC Ocean Walk, LLC v. Am. Guarantee Liab. Ins. Co. _ N.J._ (Jan. 24, 2024), centered around a casino operator in Atlantic City who claimed losses due to the presence of COVID-19 particles on its premises and the resulting governmental shutdown of its operations.

  • Case Updates | 6.13.24

    How do you define the term "contractor?" In the case of California Specialty Insulation Inc. v. Allied World Surplus Lines Insurance Company, No. B324805 (2024), the court ultimately honored the reasonable expectations of the insured and ordered that the insurer defend and indemnify in an underlying suit stemming from the policy. This case involves a commercial general liability insurance policy issued by Allied World Surplus Lines Insurance Company (Allied) to California Specialty Insulation, Inc. (CSI). The central issue is whether Allied World is obligated to defend and indemnify CSI against a negligence claim stemming from a construction site accident. The dispute hinges on the interpretation of a policy exclusion for bodily injury to employees of any "contractor," a term not defined in the policy.

  • Article | 5.31.24

    The Communications Decency Act, codified at 47 U.S.C. Section 230, has long been a foundational tenet of law governing the internet, providing crucial protections for online platforms. However, it is under intense scrutiny once again as the law faces significant re-examination and potential reform. The new legislation proposes to sunset Section 230 during the final week of 2025, effectively setting a timer on Congressional action and giving lawmakers only eighteen months to establish a new standard for liability. This legislative move seeks to address mounting concerns about the role of online platforms in hosting and moderating user-generated content. At the crux of the issue is whether online platforms can be held responsible for the content that users post.

  • Case Updates | 5.28.24

    In the case of Pine Management v. Colony Insurance Company, 23-624-cv (2dCir. Mar. 26, 2024), the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York provided essential guidance regarding when a pre-suit demand constitutes a claim triggering the obligation to notify your liability insurer under New York law.

  • Case Updates | 5.6.24

    The recent ruling from the New York Court of Appeals has broadened the protective umbrella of Labor Law 241(6), deeming a plastic covering a foreign substance as defined in Industrial Code section 23-1.7(d). Additionally, the court determined that the presence of the plastic covering did not qualify as an integral part of the work, highlighting the defendant's responsibility in creating an "avoidable danger." This opinion presents a significant challenge for defendants as it raises the risk of liability for owners, contractors, and their representatives in construction site accident cases. The case of Bazdaric v. Almah Partners LLC, 2024 NY Slip Op 00847 (decided on February 20, 2024), centers on a workplace injury that occurred while an employee was completing a painting project. The plaintiffs sought damages for injuries that resulted from a slip and fall on a plastic covering placed over the top of a stopped escalator.

  • Case Updates | 5.2.24

    In the complex world of property ownership and community governance, conflicts often emerge concerning the responsibilities of condominium associations versus individual unit owners. In Canner v. Governors Ridge Ass'n, 348 Conn. 726(Conn. Apr. 2, 2024), the Connecticut Supreme Court offered important insight regarding the intricate web of obligations outlined in Connecticut’s Common Interest Ownership Act (CIOA), as well as the relevant statute of limitations analysis governing such claims. The plaintiffs raised concerns over the allegedly defective foundations of their units within a common interest community. Central to the plaintiffs' argument were assertions of negligence in design and construction, coupled with the association's purported failure to uphold its duties under CIOA. Conversely, the defendant condominium association invoked a statute of limitations defense, contending that the plaintiffs' claims were time barred. This case not only underscores the often complex interplay between contractual and tortious obligations, but also highlights the role of statutory interpretation in resolving disputes within common interest communities and clarifies the statute of limitations applicable to such claims.

  • Article | 5.1.24

    Colorado's housing market is currently a battleground for legislative proposals aimed at addressing affordability challenges while balancing construction industry concerns. Amid the state's affordable housing shortfall and prospective buyers contending with stubbornly high interest rates and escalating borrowing expenses, the state is exploring diverse avenues to combat the state's housing challenges. As part of this push for reform on both sides, two competing bills are currently pending in the General Assembly, SB 24-106 and HB 24-130. Each have the potential to significantly alter the landscape of construction industry operations in Colorado.

  • Article | 1.2.24

    On December 29, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed the revised S74A "Grieving Families Act" for the second time since its inception over a year ago. The law was aimed at substantially expanding compensable damages in wrongful death actions.

  • Article | 11.7.23

    Binding private arbitration is intended to be a speedy and efficient means for resolving disputes that would otherwise be litigated through the court system. There are numerous benefits to pursue this form of alternative dispute resolution, but also some drawbacks. This article addresses these pros and cons, as well as strategies and other considerations for compelling cases to arbitration.

  • Article | 9.19.23

    Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are complex medical conditions that lack a unified consensus on diagnostic testing and treatment. Because there is a lack of medical consensus on how to treat these conditions, Lyme-literate providers, who practice on the cutting edge of medicine, can find themselves vulnerable to medical board and other regulatory agency investigations. A recent survey of 155 Lyme-literate medical providers found that 39% were reported to either a medical board, insurer, or subjected to a hospital-based quality improvement inquiry. This survey has drawn attention to the challenges faced by medical providers in treating these complex and often misunderstood conditions. Exploring the reasons behind the complexity of treating tick-borne diseases sheds light on the ever increasing prevalence of Lyme disease and the growing demand for more comprehensive treatment approaches.

  • Media Mention | 8.31.23

    While AI has penetrated awareness in the larger culture, construction companies have been delving into it themselves in recent years including using it to optimize work schedules, to improve workplace safety, and to keep a close eye on construction sites.

  • Newsroom | 7.11.23

    On June 16, 2023, Nevada signed into law a bill that would amend the cap on damages in medical malpractice cases. This bill has significant implications for patients and medical professionals alike.

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