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”

The Difficulties with Enforcing Face Mask Policies in Commercial Settings

Although many aspects related to the coronavirus quarantine have been relaxed across New York State, the executive order mandating the use of face masks in public indoor locations remains in effect. While most people have complied with this requirement willingly, a handful of people have vocally objected, often taking out their frustration at the policy on the workers and businesses who are often tasked with enforcing it. How is a business supposed to handle people objecting to wearing a face mask without inviting legal trouble to their doorstep? Continue reading “The Difficulties with Enforcing Face Mask Policies in Commercial Settings”

Delaware Amends Corporation Law to Deal with COVID Complications

Delaware has recently amended its General Corporation Law to address concerns that have arisen due to the coronavirus crisis. These amendments, among other things, will make it easier for companies to respond to emergencies like the coronavirus outbreak, and make it easier to convene shareholder meetings or meetings of a board of directors when external circumstances make in-person meetings problematic. These changes are intended to address problems many companies, including many who operate in New York, have struggled to handle due to existing rules. Continue reading “Delaware Amends Corporation Law to Deal with COVID Complications”

Federal Prosecutors Put Pressure on PPP Fraudsters

When the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was first passed into law along with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March, it was intended to help businesses through the economic difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses who struggled with paying for employees and other essential expenses could apply for PPP loans to help them endure when their business operations were negatively impacted by the virus or by quarantine measures. However, some people have been abusing the program for their own personal gain, and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has begun cracking down on people making false filings for PPP loans. Continue reading “Federal Prosecutors Put Pressure on PPP Fraudsters”

COVID Business Interruption Insurance Case Dismissed by Indiana Court

In the first case of its kind to be decided across the country, an Indiana Court has dismissed a claim by a business attempting to recover money under its business interruption insurance due to the coronavirus. The case has caught a great deal of attention, as it may presage other similar cases being decided around the country, including in New York, where businesses struggled to stay open during the coronavirus quarantine. However, while it is tempting to ascribe a great deal of significance to this case, attempting to apply the ruling widely may be difficult. Continue reading “COVID Business Interruption Insurance Case Dismissed by Indiana Court”

Postmates Loses in Federal Court, Stuck with Hundreds of Arbitrations

Postmates is learning the hard way that mandatory arbitration clauses go both ways, as an Illinois court has ruled against its attempt to consolidate hundreds of arbitrations into a single proceeding. As a result, the food delivery company is facing millions of dollars in arbitration fees as it is forced to defend each individual arbitration. The ruling concurs with similar rulings made against Postmates in California, where it was also ruled that it cannot consolidate these arbitrations, no matter how costly to itself. Continue reading “Postmates Loses in Federal Court, Stuck with Hundreds of Arbitrations”

FTC Calls Use of Bots in Advertising a “Deceptive Practice”

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has sent a report to Congress on the use of social media bots in online advertising. Based on their observations, the FTC says that the use of these bots may constitute a “deceptive practice” under certain circumstances. This means that any person or company that uses bots for illicit purposes may be opening themselves to legal liability at some point. Continue reading “FTC Calls Use of Bots in Advertising a “Deceptive Practice””

Cryptocurrency Transactions Not Protected by 4th Amendment

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that cryptocurrency transactions fall under the third-party exception to the Fourth Amendment. This means that cryptocurrency transactions can be monitored without a warrant, and law enforcement can seek information on cryptocurrency exchanges without consulting people who trade on those exchanges. This ruling will likely have a chilling effect on cryptocurrencies everywhere, as one of the central appeals of cryptocurrency is the supposed anonymity it affords. Continue reading “Cryptocurrency Transactions Not Protected by 4th Amendment”