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 ...

State Legislators Seek to “Rewrite” Insurance Policies, Requiring Coverage of COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has elicited extraordinary suppression and mitigation measures from all levels of government in the U.S. and around the world. It is difficult to fathom the extent to which the economy, global and domestic travel, and life as we knew it have been disrupted in the span of only a few weeks. Lawmakers have been in the difficult position of having to weigh the public health implications of their policy decisions against the economic impact on businesses and individuals. At all levels, our governments have been taking steps to address mitigation of ...

28 U.S.C § 1782(a) – Obtaining Information in Aid of International Private Arbitration from U.S. Federal Courts: The Debate Shifts

In a noteworthy endorsement of international arbitration March 30, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued what may be the second watershed decision within six months in the use of 28 U.S.C. § 1782, “Assistance to foreign and international tribunals and to litigants before such tribunals”. The Fourth Circuit panel reversed the district court to rule that section 1782(a) may be employed to obtain testimony and other evidence in aid of private arbitration held outside the United States.[i]

Operating A Business Under North Carolina’s COVID-19 “Stay-At-Home” Order: Essential Business Designation & Reentry Certification

At 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 30, 2020, all citizens and businesses of North Carolina will join hundreds of millions of others in the United States that are subject to state or local government issued “stay-at-home” orders. On March 27, 2020, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a statewide stay-at-home order via Executive Order 121, “Stay-At-Home Order and Strategic Directions for North Carolina in Response to Increasing COVID-19 Cases” (Stay-At-Home Order”). The Governor stated several findings as the basis for the Order, including that 763 COVID-19 cases ...

A Place for Insurance in a Global Pandemic: How Do Event Cancellation & Business Interruption Policies Apply to COVID-19?

It is an understatement to say that the foothold the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has gained in the U.S. and resulting government mandates have developed at a rapid pace. Two weeks ago, companies were open for business, but were well advised to consider cancelling planned events and reviewing their contracts and insurance policies to determine coverage for potential losses. Given the travel advisories issued by the government and trepidation of individuals to travel or gather in the midst of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, cancellation of a major event may have been the ...

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 ...

An Agreement to Arbitrate Employment Claims Must Also Allow for Access to Full Remedies Before the NLRB

In a separate post, we discussed several cases decided by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in which the Board invalidated agreements requiring employees to arbitrate employment-related claims due to vague language that did not make it clear that employees retained the right to pursue claims under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) before the NLRB. The recent decision in Kelly Services, Inc.. 368 NLRB No. 130 (12/12/2019) illustrates that even explicitly permitting claims before the NLRB will not guarantee an arbitration agreement’s survival if substantial ...

Watch Your Language: An Agreement to Arbitrate Employment Claims Must Allow for NLRA Claims Before the NLRB

The U.S. Supreme Court settled the long-standing dispute regarding the viability of class arbitration waivers in employment contracts with its determination in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 584 U. S. ____ (2018) that they indeed are enforceable, contrary to the position taken by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). But that did not close the book on all questions regarding employment agreement arbitration clauses, nor did it mean that the NLRB would resolve remaining questions regarding the limits on their enforceability in favor of the employer. While class waivers and ...

Exciting Times in Charlotte Development: City Council Moves UDO Process Forward with Transit Oriented Development Rezoning Approval & Ordinance Updates

It is an exciting time to be living in Charlotte, North Carolina, whether you have deep roots here or are a recent addition to our burgeoning city. North Carolina is experiencing rapid growth, adding nearly 309 people per day, and more than one third of the State’s growth by 2035 is projected to occur in Charlotte. This expansion is one of the key factors driving a focus on planning for the future of the City, with respect to both land use and transportation. The Charlotte City Council recently approved several zoning and land use initiatives spearheaded by the Department of Planning ...

U.S. Supreme Court Limited Authority to Remove Class Actions to Original Defendants, Third-Party Counterclaim Defendants May Not Remove Even Under CAFA

A defendant by any other name does not smell as sweet when it comes to removing class actions from state court to federal court, even under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”). Congress passed CAFA to address perceived abuses in class action litigation and to provide an avenue for defendants to remove class actions filed in state courts to the more neutral ground of the federal court system. But, who can avail themselves of the removal authority provided by CAFA? The U.S. Supreme Court recently held in Home Depot U.S.A. , Inc. v. Jackson, 587 U. S. ____ (2019) that only the ...

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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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