COVID-19 Update: FAQ and Other Information for Clients

Articles Tagged with COVID-19

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With Complaints Rapidly Increasing across the U.S., Now is the time to act

As of May 26, 2020, 2,278 complaints have been filed nationwide over the global pandemic COVID-19 according to the COVID-19 Complaint Tracker developed by lawyers at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. While the largest amount of these complaints deal with prison conditions and civil rights , the next highest areas of litigation involve insurance disputes, consumer disputes, labor and employment issues  and contract disputes. Claims regarding employment, contracts and force majeure provisions, or clauses contained in contracts which excuse performance due to natural destructive acts also known as “acts of God,” are on the rise. These complaints will continue to be filed as the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt in ever-changing ways. Many of these complaints have been filed in jurisdictions where KHF regularly practices—namely COVID-19 hot spots New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Continue reading →

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Business woman holding red notepad

In a changing COVID-19 world filled with new regulations, adjustments, and uncertainty, KHF provides services to help our clients avoid litigation or to obtain favorable outcomes in litigation. Some COVID-19 services offered by KHF that will help you address COVID-19-related issues include: Continue reading →

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DoctorOn May 15, 2020 Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 145, allowing elective surgeries and elective invasive procedures to resume. Under EO-109,  healthcare facilities were instructed to cease performing all elective surgeries and invasive procedures, intending (largely) to free up PPE and beds.

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Illustration of business paperwork by Megan RexazinMany businesses have now turned to the force majeure clauses present in their contracts—invoking the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is an unforeseeable “act of God” that has hindered the ability of parties to perform their duties as agreed.

In the May 14, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “Force Majeure During a Pandemic and Potential Contractual Disputes

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and individuals alike have struggled with following through on contracts that were agreed upon long before the novel coronavirus was even discovered, let alone foreseen as the cause of a worldwide health crisis. Many have now turned to the force majeure clauses present in their contracts—invoking the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is an unforeseeable “act of God” that has hindered the ability of parties to perform their duties as agreed. For those who do not have such clauses present in their contracts, can the same concept be invoked in a court of law?

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Red four-door car

On May 13, 2020 Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 142, permitting the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events. The construction and non-essential retail provisions will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18th, while the car gatherings provision will take effect immediately. EO142 reduces and supersedes some of the restrictions that were previously in under Executive Order 107 and 122. Continue reading →

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Woman holding book and thinkingWhile shelter-in-place and other restrictions on business remain in effect due to the pandemic, many expect re-openings (whether gradual, on a timeline, based on industry, or otherwise) are imminent.  If you have not adhered to the old adage to “learn from the past lest it repeat itself” maybe now is a good time to review some of your company policies. Continue reading →

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Illustration of four people maintaining social distancingMay 6, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 138, which extends the Public Health Emergency declared on March 9, 2020 and extended on April 7, 2020. EO138 is intended to extend the public health emergency for 30 additional days to prevent its expiry as required under the Emergency Health Powers Act. As such, the emergency declaration is renewed for another month.

Pursuant to EO138, all previously entered Executive Orders relating to the pandemic remain “in full force and effect” including non-essential business closures of brick & mortar locations, remote work when possible, closures of non-essential construction projects, and aggressive social distancing measures.

The recitals of EO138 provide that, although New Jersey’s social distancing measures have helped to slow the increase of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the State, the total number of cases and deaths in New Jersey has continued to rise and would rise at an even more precipitous rate absent these important measures.

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Illustration of construction worker holding saw and leaning on pole.Although originally slated for May 8, the construction industry in Pennsylvania re-opened a week early on Friday, May 1st, with guidelines imposed by the Commonwealth. All construction businesses authorized to conduct in-person operations in the Commonwealth must adhere to requirements of the guidance, as well as all applicable business and building safety orders issued by the Secretary of Health, though localities may elect to impose more stringent requirements.

The guidance, developed with the assistance of the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania, includes an array of distancing and cleaning mandates such as:

  • Require social distancing (6-feet minimum distance between workers) unless the safety of the public or workers require deviation (e.g. drywalling, team lifting).
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Illustration depicting security deposit. One hand holding house with keys and the other hand holding a sack of money.In New Jersey, Executive Order 128 addresses landlord and tenant issues due to COVID-19. Finding that the earlier EO106 provides some protection to tenants by staying enforcement of all judgments for possession, warrants of removal, and writs of possession while in effect (unless the court determines otherwise), EO128 suggests that there are other consequences in addition to evictions, such as interest and late fees and negative credit reports. Continue reading →

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Hands typing on laptop. Profiles of individuals are coming out of computer to give the illusion of networking/virtually meeting. Coffee cup is on left-hand side and notebook is on right-hand side.In Delaware, Governor John C. Carney issued a Declaration of State of Emergency in connection with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  This month, the Declaration was modified (the Tenth Modification) to address the numerous shareholder meetings to be noticed for Delaware companies. The Tenth Modification, acknowledging that physical gatherings are explicitly discouraged, advise that shareholder meetings be held remotely for the “safety, health and wellbeing of participants”.

Corporations are permitted to adjourn their physical meetings or move to a remote format, provided that certain steps are taken if the date and/or “location” (yes, virtual) are being changed.  Pursuant to § 232 of Title 8 of the Delaware Code, notice of stockholder meetings is usually given through mail, courier service, or email – but the Securities and Exchange Commission is currently allowing companies to provide certain notices via required public filings and press releases. Consequently, to effectuate the change of an annual meeting to a remote format, Delaware corporations should file this notice with the SEC and issue a press release on their websites immediately afterwards.

Although Delaware law already does generally provide that corporations are allowed to hold stockholder meetings remotely, these provisions (e.g. the board of directors has the discretion to decide upon a remote meeting) must be in the corporation’s organizational documents. Consequently, the Tenth Amendment contains crucial provisions for those corporations whose organizational documents may not have been as explicit on these issues. The other provisions of 8 Del. C. § 211, such as the “reasonable measures” to verify the presence and participation of stockholders/proxyholders, as well as record-keeping, have not been changed by the Tenth Amendment.

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