Rulings Disagree: Is Loss of Use of a Leasehold 'Property Damage'?

Is a party’s loss of use of a leasehold or other interest in real property considered “property damage” within the meaning of a comprehensive general liability (CGL) policy? Two recent cases go in different directions on this point.

The starting point is the CGL’s Coverage A which typically provides coverage for “bodily injury and property damage liability”. In turn, “property damage” is typically defined to include the “loss of use of tangible property that is not physically injured”. The key question addressed by the following cases is whether a party’s ...

Posted in Legal Bites
California Enacts New Law Regulating Food Delivery Apps

On September 24, 2020, Governor Newsom enacted AB-2149, the Fair Food Delivery Act of 2020. The new law prohibits food delivery platforms from arranging for the delivery of food delivery orders without the express authorization of the food facilities. 

The law amends Business and Professions Code Section 22.4 to state: “[a] food delivery platform shall not arrange for the delivery of an order from a food facility without first obtaining an agreement with the food facility expressly authorizing the food delivery platform to take orders and deliver meals prepared by the food ...

Courts Wrestle With Coverage of Cyber-Related Claims

Cyber insurance is designed to fill an enterprise's coverage gaps, where coverage under other forms of in­surance may not be triggered by these kind of losses. At the same time, and because cyber insurance is a relatively new prod­uct, there are few reported cases involving coverage disputes. Importantly, those cases highlight the need for policyholders to scru­tinize the menu of available coverage grants in any proposed cyber insurance policy.

While to date there has been relative­ly few reported cases involving cyber in­surance coverage disputes, there has been much ...

Posted in Legal Bites
L.A. County to Reopen Breweries and Wineries

On September 27, 2020, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors approved a motion to reopen breweries and wineries by October 6, 2020.  The reopening requires breweries and wineries to abide by strict safety guidelines, including but not limited to: outside operations, limited hours of operation, required reservations, appropriate social distancing, and all appropriate safety measures.  The motion directs the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to begin with permitting outdoor, reservation-only seating at breweries and then create a plan to increase capacity.

This ...

A Win For Employers: Governor Newsom Vetoes AB 3216

Despite significant pressure from labor groups and others, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill 3216 yesterday.  If it had been signed, AB 3216 would have created a right of recall for laid-off employees of hotels and event venues, as well as those working in building maintenance.  The bill was criticized by the Chamber of Commerce and others who felt that the legislation sought to further burden industries who were already struggling as a result of the pandemic. Although AB 3216 is now off the table, employers should not forget that certain right to recall ordinances have already ...

Posted in Legal Bites
RESTAURANTS Act Added to Updated Stimulus Bill

On September 28, 2020, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled an updated coronavirus relief stimulus bill (the updated Heroes Act) that includes the RESTAURANTS Act.  The text of the bill is over 2,100 pages.

Section 607 of the proposed bill incorporates the RESTAURANTS Act, which establishes a $120 billion program administered by the Treasury Department to provide restaurants, bars, food trucks, taprooms, taverns, caterers, taprooms and similar businesses.  

The grant amount would reflect the difference between the business’s 2019 revenues and ...

AB 2257: California Rewrites Independent Contractor Law…Again

As promised, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2257 which effectively rewrites Assembly Bill 5, the flawed law which sought to codify and clarify the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court and took effect on January 1, 2020.  AB 2257 became effective upon signature.

At approximately 14 pages in length, neither employees nor employers are likely to find AB 2257 any less confusing than its predecessor.  It does, however, make it easier for several categories of professions to work as independent contractors if certain conditions are ...

Posted in Legal Bites
FDA Proposes Rule for Food Traceability

On September 21, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration announced a proposed rule to establish additional traceability recordkeeping requirements for companies who manufacture, process, pack, or store foods that the FDA has included on its Food Traceability List. This is an effort by the agency to help control outbreaks of foodborne illness.

The Food Traceability List was first created in 2014 and currently includes: shell eggs, cheeses, nut butters, cucumbers, fresh herbs, leafy greens, melons, peppers, sprouts, tomatoes, fruits and vegetables, bivalve mollusks (oysters ...

Insureds Seek Coverage For Breaches Under Traditional Policies

There have been a number of high-profile insurance coverage cases arising from losses due to cyber fraud – especially data breaches, "spoofing'' and payment instruction fraud. While cyber insurance is specifically designed to address these kinds of losses, insureds covered under traditional insurance products such as commercial general liability, errors and omission and crime poli­cies have continued to seek coverage under those policies for cyber-related losses.

For example, in a case filed on Nov. 15, Target seeks recovery for its cyber fraud-related losses from its ...

New Law Extends Workers' Compensation Benefits To COVID-19 Victims

Governor Newsom has signed Senate Bill 1159, a law that effectively codifies and expands his earlier Executive Order N-62-20, which had expired on July 5, 2020. Effective immediately, this bill defines “injury” for an employee to include illness or death resulting from COVID-19 under specified circumstances. In particular, the employee must have tested positive for or was diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days after the employee performed services at the employee’s place of employment and the work must have been performed on or after March 19, 2020, and on or before July 5 ...

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