A group of restaurants in the District of Columbia did not experience a "direct physical loss" for the purposes of business interruption insurance coverage when Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered shutdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic, D.C. Superior Court Judge Kelly Higashi has held. The decision comes after a Michigan judge in July threw out a restaurant owner's lawsuit seeking business interruption coverage for coronavirus-related revenue losses.
A Georgia bill that provides coronavirus-related liability safeguards for businesses, health care providers, individuals and nonprofits has gained Gov. Brian Kemp's signature. Georgia became the eighth and most populous state to enact such broad protections amid the pandemic, and its law will remain in effect until mid-2021.
A survey of flood-control professionals found 85% of them had dealt with urban flooding in areas beyond the Special Flood Hazard Area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which doesn't "account for these growing areas of risk and impact" resulting from the built environment, said Sam Brody of Texas A&M University. Brody said FEMA has helped his team of researchers create a method to better map flood risk through the use of machine learning and statistics.
Legislation filed in the Senate would give the US Forest Service the authority to conduct harvesting and burning activity in Western states with eased requirements for environmental review and public comment. The measure also would allow homeowners access to funding for fire-resistant roofs and siding.
Lake Michigan's rising water levels are putting waterfront homes at risk, causing decks and staircases to collapse into the water in some cases. Some homeowners on the lake are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on protective measures such as building steel barriers and placing boulders as a shield against waves.
The latest version of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule has language in it that is causing concern among industry groups. The American Council of Life Insurers, Morningstar and others say there are several instances of unclear or confusing language in the proposed rule.
Data from 900 Pulse Secure VPN enterprise servers -- including IP addresses, usernames and passwords, and administrator account information -- have been posted on the dark web. A security researcher noted that the breached servers were all running a firmware version that had a known vulnerability.
The amount of coronavirus-related litigation against businesses is likely to increase, and employers and universities need an "incentive ... to make sure they are adopting the right public health measures and give them the confidence that ... they are not going to be dragged into court and second-guessed years from now," said Neil Bradley of the US Chamber of Commerce. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said liability protections are essential in the next coronavirus relief bill; unions, including several representing athletes, have criticized the proposed safeguards.
Legislation that has passed a California Senate committee would mandate that businesses inform employees and state officials within 24 hours if a worker is exposed to the coronavirus. The measure, which could carry a $10,000 fine for violations, would be tougher than a recent Virginia law that mandates notifications when an employee tests positive for the coronavirus.
The 5.4% rise in commercial property insurance rates in July accounted for the sharpest increase in commercial insurance last month, according to IVANS. Commercial auto pricing rose 5.1% in July, while workers' compensation was the only major line to experience a decrease, IVANS said.