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Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 Introduced in Congress – A Federal Backstop for Business Interruption and Event Cancellation Losses

After months of discussion and drafting, H.R.7011, the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 (PRIA) was introduced by Representative Carolyn Maloney and twenty co-sponsors on May 26, 2020. If passed as currently drafted, the Act would mandate that insurance companies offering business interruption insurance policies must cover losses incurred due to pandemics and it would establish a Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Program (PRRP) within the Department of the Treasury under which private insurance companies and the federal government would share the responsibility to pay claims for ...

Mandated Coverage and Public-Private Risk Sharing Initiatives Under Consideration for COVID-19 Related Business Interruption Losses

In just a few weeks, we have gone from discussing what was believed to be the first COVID-19 lawsuit related to business interruption insurance and a handful of state legislative efforts to redefine the scope of coverage for businesses impacted by COVID-19 to dozens of lawsuits filed across the nation, including several class actions, and legislation circulating at the federal (and international) level proposing to provide a backstop to private insurers who pay out to policy holders. The impact of COVID-19 shutdowns on businesses is being felt wide and deep. The Risk & Insurance ...

Retooling Your Business for COVID-19: Product Liability Immunity & Insurance for Manufacturing Pandemic Products

One thing, among many, that enduring the COVID-19 crisis is reminding us of is that the resilience of the human spirit is remarkable. Amidst calls for more personal protective equipment for the dedicated healthcare workers on the front lines and more ventilators for vulnerable patients fighting for their lives, company after company (and individuals) have responded by retooling their operations to manufacture the items needed to support the herculean effort to treat those infected and to stay ahead of and flatten the curve of this pandemic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ...

North Carolina State and Local Land Use Laws Under Revision to Prepare for the Future: The Charlotte UDO and NCGS §160D

Over the course of the last several years, we have seen movement at the state and local levels to revamp land use laws to prepare North Carolina for the future. Population growth in North Carolina has outpaced the nation during the last ten years and significant portions of that growth have been centered in Mecklenburg County and the Charlotte metropolitan area. Data reflects that North Carolina “ha[s] grown 8.5% compared to the nation’s 5.8%” since 2010. “From 2017 to 2018, the combined populations of Mecklenburg and Wake Counties grew by over 37,000 people, accounting for ...

U.S. businesses have the good fortune to be on the receiving end of a favorable U.S. Senate vote nullifying the hotly-contested Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule banning class action waivers in certain consumer finance arbitration agreements. The rule, issued by the agency in July 2017, took several years to finalize and was criticized for being based on a flawed data, the result of the agency overreaching, and more beneficial to class action plaintiffs’ attorneys than the consumers it was supposed to protect. Our previous posts discuss in detail ...

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced the release of its final rule prohibiting the use of class action waivers in certain consumer finance arbitration agreements. The rule has been several years in the making, and has been widely followed and hotly contested. The final rule was announced on July 10, 2017 and published in the Federal Register on July 19, 2017. Accordingly, it is set to take effect on September 18, 2017 (60 days following publication) and to apply to contracts entered into on or after March 19, 2018 (180 days after the effective date ...

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced the release of its final rule that prohibits the use of class action waivers in certain consumer finance arbitration agreements. This rule banning class waivers has been several years in the making, and has been widely followed and hotly contested. The CFPB reports that it received more than 110,000 comments on its proposed rule during the comment period, which raised concerns regarding “whether the effects of arbitration agreements are salient to consumers, whether arbitration has proved to be a fair and ...

The reality of class action litigation is that what is supposed to be the court’s preliminary decision of whether to certify a case as a class action is often the end of the litigation. In many cases, plaintiffs will not proceed if the court denies class certification for reasons including that their individual claims are not large enough to justify the costs. And defendant companies often will settle a case once a class is certified, even if the claims are meritless, because the risk and costs of litigation are too high. Therefore, the opportunity to appeal a class certification ...

Companies Defending Class Actions in NC Have New Right to Appeal Class Certification

COMPANIES DEFENDING CLASS ACTIONS IN NC HAVE NEW RIGHT TO APPEAL CLASS CERTIFICATION (June 4, 2017): The North Carolina legislature recently passed H.B. 239, over Gubernatorial veto, which gives company defendants the right to appeal trial court decisions allowing class certification directly to the North Carolina Supreme Court, securing a guaranteed avenue for early review of class action cases that was not available to companies in the North Carolina courts before and minimizing delays and costs associated with the two-step appellate process. Read more.

Defendant Companies Now Have the Right to Appeal North Carolina Class Certification Decisions Directly to NC Supreme Court

The North Carolina legislature recently passed H.B. 239, over Gubernatorial veto, which gives company defendants the right to appeal trial court decisions allowing class certification directly to the North Carolina Supreme Court. This law parts from North Carolina case law precedent and eliminates the need for the NC Supreme Court to invoke its supervisory authority to review a grant of class certification prior to resolution of a trial, as the court recently did in Fisher v. Flue-Cured Tobacco Coop. Stabilization Corp., 794 S.E.2d 699, 2016 N.C. LEXIS 1120, (NC Dec. 21, 2016 ...

As class action litigation has continued to proliferate, we have seen efforts to rein in the perceived abuses of the system on multiple fronts. Over a decade ago, Congress passed the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) to provide an avenue for defendants to remove class actions filed in state courts to the more neutral ground of the federal court system. In the last several years, the courts have been called on repeatedly to define the contours of CAFA and the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules (Advisory Committee) initiated proposed amendments to Federal Rule of ...

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed S. 1890 – The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) into law, the final step in creating the first federal civil cause of action against those who misappropriate a company’s trade secrets. In signing the Act, President Obama spoke of American innovation and the threat that trade secret theft, particularly in Asian markets, poses to American jobs, markets, and leadership. Our previous post, See You in Federal Court: Congress Creates Federal Civil Action for Trade Secret Misappropriation, provides details regarding key components of the Act ...

Congressional efforts to create a federal remedy to protect company trade secrets have been underway for several years. Last week, S. 1890 - Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, which would amend the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create federal civil jurisdiction over the theft of trade secrets, was sent by Congress to the President for consideration. The Bill was introduced last year and was passed by an overwhelming majority of both the Senate and House in April 2016: by Senate vote (87-0) on April 4 and by House vote (410-2), without changes, on April 27. The Bill was presented to the ...

MLB Litigation Brief: Class Action Questions Open After Scalia’s Death, Arbitration Fees and American Rule & More


Our goal is to serve as a cutting-edge resource for companies operating in an increasingly globalized and regulated business environment. Moore & Van Allen’s MLB Litigation Brief is a complement to our Litigation Blog’s in-depth individual treatment of critical issues emerging in federal, North Carolina state, and international litigation, as well as in arbitration, regulatory enforcement, and related business practices. MLB Litigation Brief hits the highlights of recent developments, streamlining access to critical information for our readers. Subscribe to the MVA ...

Class actions consume considerable company resources and can pose significant risk of exposure in the $ millions or $ billions. Therefore, it is critical for companies to prepare themselves – to know the trends in class action litigation and the tools available to minimize their exposure to class action liability. Over the last several weeks, the Supreme Court has heard arguments in three cases that have potential to further define the landscape of class action litigation: Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez (No. 14-857), Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (No. 13-1339), and Tyson Foods, Inc. v ...

Class actions consume considerable company resources and can pose significant risk of exposure in the $ millions or $ billions. Therefore, it is critical for companies to prepare themselves – to know the trends in class action litigation and the tools available to minimize their exposure to class action liability. Over the last several weeks, the Supreme Court has heard arguments in three cases that have potential to further define the landscape of class action litigation: Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez (No. 14-857), Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (No. 13-1339), and Tyson Foods, Inc. v ...

Class actions consume considerable company resources and can pose significant risk of exposure in the $ millions or $ billions. Therefore, it is critical for companies to prepare themselves – to know the trends in class action litigation and the tools available to minimize their exposure to class action liability. Over the last several weeks, the Supreme Court has heard arguments in three cases that have potential to further define the landscape of class action litigation: Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez (No. 14-857), Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (No. 13-1339), and Tyson Foods, Inc. v ...

Circumscribing an individual’s power to subject companies to class and collective actions has been on the forefront of corporate litigation for several years, particularly in light of the growing trend of class action filings.  An increasingly common scenario facing corporate defendants is the “no-injury class” in which many members of a certified class actually sustained no injury or damages, resulting in a much larger class to which damages might be awarded.  This issue has arisen in a variety of contexts, including product liability class actions like the Whirlpool moldy ...

MLB Litigation Brief: 4th Circuit Hostile Work Enviro, Class Action Trends Cause Concern, Low-Wage Non-Competes & More


Our goal is to serve as a cutting-edge resource for companies operating in an increasingly globalized and regulated business environment. Moore & Van Allen’s MLB Litigation Brief is a complement to our Litigation Blog’s in-depth individual treatment of critical issues emerging in federal, North Carolina state, and international litigation, as well as in arbitration, regulatory enforcement, and related business practices. MLB Litigation Brief hits the highlights of recent developments, streamlining access to critical information for our readers. Subscribe to the ...

Class action lawsuits have become a commonplace fixture in the American judicial landscape and carry the force to extract billions of dollars from defendants, many of whom settle once a class is certified due to the costs and risks of litigation, regardless of the merits of the plaintiff’s case.  Ten years ago, Congress tackled several perceived abuses of the class action mechanism by passing the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”), which allows defendants to remove certain class actions filed in state court to the more neutral ground of the federal system.  In February ...

Congress Takes Up Patent Litigation Reform – Innovation Act Reintroduced, Supreme Court Cases Examined

Patent litigation reform has been on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee agenda, with the recent reintroduction of legislation seeking to address patent litigation abuses and a hearing examining recent U.S. Supreme Court cases that have imposed some reforms that may, or may not, curtail the need for further legislative efforts.  In February, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Rep. Rob Goodlatte reintroduced the bi-partisan Innovation Act, H.R. 9, which is the same in substance as the previous Innovation Act, H.R. 3309 that passed the House in December 2013, but ultimately ...

On September 17, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bi-partisan federal Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, H.R. 5233, which we previously wrote about when introduced in July, 2014 by North Carolina Representative George Holding.  H.R. 5233 seeks to amend the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create a federal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation.  Regarding the importance of the Act, Rep. Holding and other supporters noted that “[a]s of 2009, the value of trade secrets owned by U.S. companies was estimated to be nearly $5 trillion.  While current federal ...

House Judiciary Subcommittee Continued Its Review of Intellectual Property Law with Hearings on Copyright Infringement Remedies, The America Invents Act, and IP Policy Goals

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet recently held hearings targeted at further exploring intellectual property laws and policy.  On July 24, the Subcommittee held another hearing in its series that is examining federal copyright laws, this time focusing on remedies for copyright infringement provided under Chapter 5 of Title 17.  This was a follow-up to a previous hearing that focused on the notice and take down provisions of Section 512.  Issues addressed in the July 24 hearing include the creation of a small claims ...

Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014 Introduced in Bi-Partisan Effort to Protect Businesses From Cyber Security Threats

On July 29, 2014, North Carolina Congressman George Holding introduced the Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, H.R. 5233, which seeks to create a private federal remedy for victims of trade secret theft.  Representative Holding introduced the bill with five co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, affirming in his statement the importance of protecting businesses from the damage caused by the loss of trade secrets:

American businesses face relentless cyber security threats every day, costing our economy billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs each year.  As a way to help ...

House Subcommittee Approved TROL Act Defining Bad Faith Communications Made During Patent Assertion as Unfair or Deceptive Practices Under the Federal Trade Commission Act

The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade considered and approved the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act of 2014 (“TROL Act”) with a 13-6 vote.  The purpose of the TROL Act is to establish that certain bad faith communications made in connection with the assertion of a United States patent are considered unfair or deceptive acts or practices under section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1)).  The Act was passed with minor amendment to the provision that establishes an affirmative defense that ...

North Carolina Abusive Patent Assertions Act (H1032) Makes Its Way Through General Assembly

The 2013 General Assembly convened its 2014 Regular Session on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 with the introduction of House Bill 1032 The Abusive Patent Assertions Act by primary sponsor Representative Tom Murry (Rep).  The Bill also is sponsored by Representatives Conrad, Lambeth, S. Martin, Pittman, Saine, and  Whitmire.  The Act recognizes that the assertion of bad‑faith patent infringement claims poses a threat to North Carolina companies via costly and time-consuming litigation that may impose pressure to settle meritless claims.  The practice also “undermine[s] North ...

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING ON DOJ OVERSIGHT: The House Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing regarding oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice during which Attorney General Eric Holder testified.  A webcast of the hearing and testimony can be found here. Posted by Tony Lathrop, Apr. 28 2014

U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Abusive Patent Demand Letters

On April 8, 2014, the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing “Trolling for a Solution: Ending Abusive Patent Demand Letters.”  The purpose of the hearing was to discuss ways to balance the need to curb the increasing abuse of patent demand letters by “bad actors” with protecting the legitimate interest that entities with patent holdings have in using demand letters “to engage other companies in lawful and productive discussions around their businesses.”  The hearing background memo explains that the ...

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE COPYRIGHT HEARING:  On April 2, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held a hearing “Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works.”  Witness testimony and a webcast of the hearing can be viewed here.  Posted by Tony Lathrop, Apr. 11, 2014.

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RECONSIDERS CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY: Last week, the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law held its hearing to address Bankruptcy reform - Exploring Chapter 11 Reform: Corporate and Financial Institution Insolvencies; Treatment of Derivatives.  The witness list and testimony are available here.  Posted by Tony Lathrop, Apr. 4, 2014.

Legislative Update: Congress is Considering the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013 Which Seeks Increased Rule 11 Sanctions for Attorneys Filing Frivolous Lawsuits

            Attorneys practicing under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are very familiar with Rule 11, which requires that they sign all papers submitted to a federal court and subjects them to possible sanctions for filing frivolous, harassing or baseless lawsuits and motions.  The U.S. Congress is currently considering the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2013 which aims to “amend Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to improve attorney accountability, and for other purposes,” those other purposes being to mandate and increase the sanctions facing attorneys for Rule 11 ...

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Companies are operating in an increasingly globalized and regulated business environment, facing ever-changing and complicated litigation and regulatory challenges. We provide cutting-edge information regarding developments in federal, North Carolina State, and international litigation, as well as in arbitration, regulatory enforcement, and related business practices.

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