EXPANSION OF AT HOME/IN PLACE ORDERS
Greene County, Springfield, Missouri, has adopted an "at home order" effective at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 26 for 30 days (subject to modification). Our firm will continue to provide services as appropriate and in accordance with the order, the Rules of Professional Conduct, and in conjunction with other guidance, including but not limited to the CDC and WHO. Most of our employees and clients (with the primary client exceptions being healthcare, food service, and transportation) are working remotely. Kansas City, St. Louis, along with several states and other counties have similar orders. Should you have specific questions about the impact of the orders, please let us know and we will answer them as we can, or direct you to individuals or other authorities as needed. We understand the significant upheaval and uncertainty of the pandemic, and value everyone's contributions in working through the situation in the most appropriate manner possible, with health and safety remaining a priority.
Insurance coverage for business losses due to COVID-19
The current pandemic has raised numerous insurance and other questions. The most common insurance question we have received is whether there is coverage for business losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As with any coverage question, the policy terms and conditions must be evaluated. Generally, business interruption coverage is designed to protect against losses sustained for periods of suspended operation due to property damage. In most cases, contagious diseases do not constitute property damage. Moreover, many policies contain Bacterial/Virus or other Contagious Disease Exclusions. If there is an emergency evacuation order, one of the questions may be whether the loss was due to or "because of" an "order of civil authority." Any specific opinion of coverage must be based on the policy terms and conditions and facts by someone qualified to provide such opinion. Given the unprecedented situation, there may be legislative changes and/or litigation which may ultimately decide some of the coverage questions.
Southern District affirms summary judgment in dog bite case
Missouri's Southern District Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment for the firm's clients in a dog bite case. The minor plaintiff claimed that the lessors of property were liable for the injury caused by the dog which was staying with the lessor's tenant. The dog was owned by a person living with the tenant. The Southern District disagreed with the plaintiff's claim of liability, finding that the lessors did not "harbor" the dog as they did not make the dog part of their household. Attorney Phil Quinn defended the lessors and handled the appeal. AT v. Satterfield, SD 36351, 2020 Mo. App. LEXIS 291 (Mo. App. S.D. March 13, 2020)
SUCCESSFUL MOTION PRACTICE
In the latter part of 2019, Laurel Stevenson associated with Memphis Attorney Camille Reifers of Boyle Brasher in securing a favorable dispositive ruling in a toxic tort case, saving a client a week-long trial and thousands of dollars in legal fees. In February of 2020, the firm achieved several favorable evidentiary rulings in a significant personal injury case, including two rulings which will substantially reduce trial time and expense. Attorney Phil Quinn assisted with the briefing.
Commitment to Community Safety Results in Significant Recoveries and May Effectuate Necessary Changes
Our firm has been dedicated to our community for over a quarter of a century, including defending small businesses, individuals and corporations. It was through the firm's defense of one of those individuals that the firm had an opportunity to pursue recovery following the his loss of two family members. The losses occurred as the result of an organization's violation of essential safety standards. During the course of representation, the firm learned that others had been harmed due to the organization's safety violations. Attorneys Randy Cowherd and Phil Quinn took the lead in representing the victims of sexual abuse and other heinous acts. This resulted in several multi-million dollar recoveries. The firm anticipates that its work on these cases will lead to necessary changes that will reduce the risk of harm to other members of our community.