Sure, you’re probably reading this in a locked room by yourself completely filled with toilet tissue and cases of bottled water, but the fact is, this virus situation will end.
And when it does, the lawsuits will be coming. According to news sources, Manufacturers may sue over missed deadlines, while suppliers could sue energy companies, which have already stopped taking some shipments as transportation demand dwindles.
Michael Hurst, a partner at Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst in Dallas, expects to see a surge in disputes over whether force majeure clauses, which frees a contract’s parties from their obligations in the event of an “act of God,” apply to the outbreak.
“Someone can say they can’t perform under a contract because they can’t get supplies from China or their people wouldn’t come to work,” Hurst said. “The other side might say you’re being too cautious or you’re just using that as an excuse.”
The fallout from business disruptions is going to be “very significant in a way we haven’t seen before,” said Joe Balice, a litigator with Brutzkus Gubner in Los Angeles who represents clients in the textile and apparel industry, many of them hit by factory shutdowns in China. Insurers are likely to find themselves in court. Balice said businesses are poring over their policies to see if they’re insured against the coronavirus fallout. “And a lot will find out that they are not,” he said.
Other interesting suits include —
A medical staffing agency claims U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services dragged its feet in reviewing applications for H-1B visas for skilled foreigners and that the delays threaten the supply of medical professionals needed to deal with the outbreak.
A suit seeking class-action status alleges that the maker of the hand sanitizer Purell exaggerates its product’s powers to prevent illness.
And then there’s the Manhattan lawyer who asked a court to excuse a delay in suing Consolidated Edison Co. for a trip-and-fall over a manhole cover. It was “due to the extraordinary and unforeseen circumstance” of his being stuck in China for six weeks, he explained.
If you people can disagree about it, they will sue about it. And when those nasty things affect YOU and YOUR business including landlord/tenant matters, contract issues, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, call in the good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling who will work to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!