Swift Currie attorneys analyze legal developments, court decisions and industry updates and alert our clients to recent changes to ensure they stay abreast of issues affecting their businesses.
On Oct. 6, 2020, the Northern District of Georgia’s Judge Thrash held that an insurer was not obligated to cover losses two Georgia eateries sustained when they shuttered their dining rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. The opinion is the first of its kind from any court in Georgia.
- 08.06.2020City of Atlanta Police Department Temporarily Halts Accident Reports for Non-Injury Automobile Accidents
The City of Atlanta Police Department (APD) is making a major temporary change to its accident response protocol in an effort “to protect the health and safety” of its staff and customers and to “mitigate the impact of COVID-19.” APD will no longer dispatch its officers to the scene of non-injury automobile accidents. Instead, APD has directed that individuals involved in a non-injury automobile accident should fill out a SR-13 form.
Georgia and Alabama courts at the federal and state level have modified their operations in response to COVID-19. The latest updates regarding deadlines, openings and stays are reflected in this guide.
As many employers begin re-opening, many child care facilities still have not. On June 26, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance focusing on summer camp and summer enrichment program closures as a basis for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
According to OSHA's revised guidance, effective May 26, 2020, COVID-19 is a recordable illness and employers are required to record cases if certain criteria are met.
On April 23, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provided revised guidance regarding employers’ obligations with respect to anti-discrimination laws, amid the challenges posed at the workplace and to the workforce by the COVID-19 pandemic. While this guidance may not provide answers for every situation, it highlights issues employers will have to consider before making decisions that affect their employees.
- 03.31.2020Employers’ Guide to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Stimulus Package
Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) on March 27, 2020. Commonly referred to as the “coronavirus stimulus package,” the CARES Act contains numerous provisions aiding individuals, small businesses, big corporations, public systems and local governments. Several provisions for small businesses help offset the financial burden of the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The battle between insurers and policyholders regarding coverage for business interruption losses due to COVID-19 is heating up.
Insurers are already being called upon to respond to claims for business interruption due to business closures as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Most business interruption policies require “direct physical loss” to trigger coverage.
- 03.20.2020Landlords Subject to Premises Liability Claims Under Gang Act Pursuant to New Court of Appeals Decision
The Court of Appeals of Georgia recently upheld a trial court’s decision to allow claims against a landlord under Georgia’s anti-gang statute to proceed, despite the fact that the landlord had no involvement in the underlying gang activity.
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed legislation affecting employees’ rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and paid sick leave. The two provisions, the Emergency Family & Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), are a part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and will be effective on April 1, 2020, applying to leave taken between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.
The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) has provided recommendations for responding to COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has now classified as a pandemic. In addition to the CDC guidelines, employers should also consider guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with respect to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), workplace safety and guidelines concerning any pandemic.
- 03.11.2020Time-Limited Demand in Death Must Include Both Wrongful Death and Estate Claims and Be Authorized by All Beneficiaries
In Shin, et al. v. Infinity Insurance Co., the Northern District of Georgia granted summary judgment in favor of Infinity Auto Insurance Company (Infinity) on claims in excess of $3.5 million for bad-faith failure to settle and breach of contract. The court focused on the bad faith claim and an insurer’s duty to settle claims against its insured.
The State Board of Workers’ Compensation has expanded the use of filing a Petition for Medical Treatment (PMT) as it relates to an employee’s failure to attend a medical appointment. Pursuant to Rule 205(c), employers and insurers are now able to use a new form, PMT(b), to petition the Board for a telephone conference with an administrative law judge (ALJ) during which the employee must “show cause” why an order should not be issued directing the employee to attend an appointment with an authorized treating physician.