Five Potential Issues That Can Arise During Estate Administration

Losing a loved one is already difficult enough. But if you have been named as the executor of the estate, dealing with your grief and organizing a funeral is only the beginning. You also need to administer the estate, which means going through the process of verifying the will and distributing it as appropriate. Here are five potential issues that may arise during the process of estate administration: Continue reading “Five Potential Issues That Can Arise During Estate Administration”

Moratorium on Residential Evictions Extended by Cuomo Until New Year

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the state’s moratorium on residential evictions until January 1, 2021. This means that landlords will not be able to evict tenants who have not paid their rent until at least the beginning of the new year. This is a boon for thousands of tenants who were facing eviction, but for landlords, it means it will be at least another three months before they can remove the delinquent tenants and replace them with people who can actually pay rent. Continue reading “Moratorium on Residential Evictions Extended by Cuomo Until New Year”

Divorce: Seven Common Issues that Can Come Up

Getting divorced is always a harrowing prospect. Even at the best of times, there are a number of personal and financial issues you will need to work out before you get through the divorce process. Before you get into a divorce, it can be best to understand what you are getting into. Here are seven common issues that come up in a divorce proceeding: Continue reading “Divorce: Seven Common Issues that Can Come Up”

What is Direct Physical Loss in Business Interruption Insurance?

If you have business interruption insurance, then it is possible you may have looked at the provisions of your insurance contract and seen the phrase “direct physical loss.” This seemingly simple phrase can have a significant impact on whether you are able to collect on your policy, especially if you were forced to shut down due to COVID-19. So what is direct physical loss, and how can that affect your business interruption insurance claim?

What is Business Interruption Insurance?

            Business interruption insurance is a kind of insurance that covers losses you suffer due to being forced to temporarily close your business. Rather than dealing with the direct physical costs, though, it addresses lost income due to being unable to operate your business as normal. For example, it might not cover water or mold damage you suffered in a flood, but it would cover your lost income for the time it took for the damage to be repaired.

How Do I Get Business Interruption Insurance?

There are two primary ways for a business owner to get business interruption insurance. The first is to specifically purchase a business interruption insurance policy from an insurer that offers it. The second is to have a business interruption clause as part of a general business insurance contract. With this second type of insurance, because many business owners may have business interruption insurance already and not know it. You should review your general business insurance policy. It’s always a good idea to know what you are and are not covered for.

Defining Direct Physical Loss

Many business interruption insurance contracts only cover business interruptions caused by “direct physical loss” to the business. Generally speaking, this has been interpreted by the courts to mean disasters that caused direct harm to the physical property of the business. For example, damage caused by a natural disaster like a fire, flood, or earthquake might qualify. So would damage caused by burglars, rioters, or vandals.

The Coronavirus Conundrum

            One of the primary issues going through the courts right now is the issue of whether business interruptions caused by the coronavirus qualify as “direct physical loss.” The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has devastated businesses across the country, and New York was particularly hard-hit early in the pandemic. Businesses that lost income due to the COVID-19 quarantine have been looking to business interruption insurance to cover their losses, with mixed results.

Some courts have adopted a more general definition of the term and have been willing to expand the definition from its traditional boundaries to include coronavirus-related closures. Other courts, however, have kept to a strict definition of direct physical loss, resulting in COVID-19 claims being denied outright. As it stands, the issue remains unsettled law, both in New York and across the country.

Finding a Way Past Direct Physical Loss

Even if you cannot get a court to agree that coronavirus-related losses count as a direct physical loss, you may have other avenues open to you to recover under business interruption insurance. For example, if your contract has “civil authority” coverage, you may be able to get payment due to being forced to close by the government. Alternately, you may have a clause in your contract that covers closures due to illness or infectious disease. However, you cannot be certain until you have consulted with an attorney.

If you are a business owner with a business interruption insurance plan, and you want to recover for losses suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic, you should seek out a business law attorney with experience in the field. The business law attorneys at Blodnick, Fazio & Clark are skilled and knowledgeable in the areas of business law and commercial transactions.  With offices conveniently located in Garden City, Nassau County, and Babylon, Suffolk County, the firm provides high-quality legal care at reasonable prices. If you require legal assistance concerning business startups, formation, corporate acquisitions and mergers, corporate restructuring, or another business matter, call (516) 280-7105 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.

CDC Extends Federal Eviction Moratorium to End of Year

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has extended the federal moratorium on evictions until December 31, giving tenants who were in danger of eviction more time to prepare for being removed from their apartments. In extending the moratorium, the CDC cited concerns that evicting people right now would place them at high risk of homelessness, which could facilitate the spread of the coronavirus. However, not everyone can benefit from this eviction moratorium, and landlords may be able to go forward with an eviction if a delinquent tenant does not follow the appropriate procedure. Continue reading “CDC Extends Federal Eviction Moratorium to End of Year”

Three Major App Settlements Address Alleged COPPA Violations

Three separate settlements seeking approval before the Northern District of California may set a precedent for app makers dealing with children’s data. All three settlements concern the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), legislation that imposes legal restrictions on how app makers and other companies treat the data collected from apps and websites targeted at children. Depending on the outcome of these settlements, it could seriously impact how apps handle children’s personal data going forward. Continue reading “Three Major App Settlements Address Alleged COPPA Violations”

Protecting Yourself with a Power of Attorney

While few people want to think about it, many will eventually reach a point where they are no longer able to care for their own needs. Whether due to physical or mental illness, an unforeseen injury, or simply because of growing older, many people eventually become unable to make the decisions or take the actions necessary to ensure their day-to-day affairs are handled. Before that happens, you should make sure you have a power of attorney in place, to make sure someone can handle your affairs when you no longer can. Continue reading “Protecting Yourself with a Power of Attorney”

8th Circuit: Coronavirus Losses Are a “Direct Physical Loss”

In what may be a promising turn of events for people with business interruption insurance, the Eighth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has just ruled that losses related to the coronavirus pandemic are a “direct physical loss.” This ruling is important as it signals how other courts may rule when confronted with similar issues, and with many businesses forced to close due to the pandemic, they are looking for any way to stave off their losses. Unsurprisingly, however, insurers who issued these policies are less than pleased at the court’s interpretation of the law. Continue reading “8th Circuit: Coronavirus Losses Are a “Direct Physical Loss””

App Stores Face Legal Challenge from Fortnite Creator

Apple and Google have been sued by Epic Games after both companies removed the popular online game Fortnite from their app stores. Epic Games, a video game publisher with its own proprietary online store, has alleged that Apple and Google have engaged in monopolistic practices by removing the game from its stores. The lawsuit brings up potential antitrust implications against Google and Apple, whose app stores serve as private marketplaces for consumer software of all types. Continue reading “App Stores Face Legal Challenge from Fortnite Creator”

As Moratorium Ends, a Wave of Evictions is Set to Begin

Back in March, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a moratorium on evictions to prevent people from being forced out on the street during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. However, with waning infection rates across New York, some of the justification for the moratorium is disappearing with it. Unfortunately, this means that many New Yorkers are now facing the prospect of homelessness once the moratorium ends. The Chief Administrative Judge for courts in New York has  most recently ruled that no warrants of eviction can be executed until at least October 1. Continue reading “As Moratorium Ends, a Wave of Evictions is Set to Begin”