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Showing 6 posts by Robert N. Berg.

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A Trend Toward COVID-19-Related Business Interruption Coverage

Based upon a couple of recent rulings, the insurance coverage lawyers at Michelman & Robinson, LLP anticipate that additional courts may give a broader meaning to the phrase “direct physical loss” as it applies to insurers' business interruption coverage responsibilities stemming from COVID-19-related losses. (Read More)

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Direct Physical Loss and Business Interruption Coverage in the Wake of COVID-19

Just over a week ago, Michelman & Robinson reported on the countless entities nationwide that are being denied the benefits of business interruption coverage their insurance policies provide—this despite the losses they are suffering due to COVID-19-related shutdowns and disruptions to business. While our prior alert focused on the failure of carriers to conduct thorough and proper investigations before denying these claims, here we discuss a recent judicial decision that pertains to a frequent basis for the refusal of coverage: the concepts of “direct physical loss” to property, as well as the “virus” exclusion that many policies contain. (Read More)

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Hope for Companies Where COVID-19-Related Business Interruption Claims Have Been Denied Without Investigation

One of the several painful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that countless businesses have suffered and even been forced to shutter. This is the case despite the fact that many of them have insurance policies that not only protect from damage to property, but also typically cover lost profits from business interruption. Nevertheless, companies large and small are not reaping the benefits of their insurance policies because carriers are denying business interruption claims without proper investigation. (Read More)

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Certifying Your PPP Loan: Proceed With Caution

Demand for loans under the Payroll Protection Program has been through the roof because of the number of businesses suffering through the economic consequences of COVID-19. As Michelman & Robinson has previously reported, the original $349B in funding for the PPP has been exhausted, and the Senate today passed a bill earmarking another $310B for these loans administered by the Small Business Administration. (Read More)

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Insurance Coverage Potentially Triggered by COVID-19

While the coronavirus pandemic has yet to peak, the outbreak has already left its mark in countless ways, one of which is its impact on businesses, large and small, and the people operating them. Losses related to COVID-19 are occurring at breakneck speed, which leaves many wondering: might some of these hits be covered by insurance? Here, Michelman & Robinson answers some of your coverage questions. (Read More)

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Insurers Take Notice: Ninth Circuit Rules that EPA Request Letter Triggers Duty to Defend

On May 11, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a general liability insurer owed a duty to defend an environmental matter even though no suit had technically been filed.  Ash Grove Cement Co v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co, et al. (13-35900, 9th Cir. 2016). Pursuant to its authority under section 104(e) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will, as part of its investigation of a Superfund site, typically issue an information request to any person or entity that it believes to have information regarding the release of hazardous substances at the site. The Ash Grove Cement decision establishes that a”104(e) letter” is a “suit” under Oregon law, immediately triggering an insurer’s obligation to defend. This significant Ninth Circuit precedent may impact Superfund-related proceedings well beyond Oregon, and insurance companies will surely be taking notice. (Read More)