Construction & Real Estate E-Note - January 2021

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Florida Supreme Court Amends Summary Judgment Procedural Rule to Mirror Federal Doctrine

Florida courts have required the moving party to "conclusively disprove" the nonmovant's theory of the case in order to eliminate any issue of fact, whereas the federal doctrine permits the entry of summary judgment when there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.

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Florida's Second District Court of Appeals Adopts a Dual-Track Approach For the Appraisal of Property Insurance Claims

When an owner seeks the appraisal of a property insurance claim, insurers commonly object by demanding that the trial court must first rule on defenses to coverage before allowing the appraisal panel to value the total claim submitted by the owner. As a result, Florida courts have been hesitant to compel appraisal of an owner's property claim, usually valued through a public adjuster estimate, when coverage or scope issues persist and have not been first ruled on by the trial court. Florida's Second District Court of Appeal just bucked this trend, and concluded that a trial court can order an appraisal of the whole claim without considering scope or coverage issues raised by the insurer, and the parties' appraisers or umpire may determine the total value of the claim.

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Business Interruption Coverage in the Year of COVID-19

COVID-19 has certainly been a devastating and disrupting force for businesses in 2020. Since the pandemic began, a major point of contention between corporate policyholders and insurers is whether these disruptions rise to "business interruptions" as defined under insurance policies offering business interruption ("BI") coverage. Companies often purchase BI coverage as part of traditional "all-risk" commercial property policies, and the coverage is generally designed to cover lost income (often in the form of reduced gross earnings) arising from disruptions to an insured’s business operations. This update serves as a brief summary of how coronavirus-related BI coverage litigation has panned out thus far.

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Department of Labor Announces Final Rule on Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its Final Rule to provide guidance on determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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Headlines

(Source: Construction Dive, 2021-01-05)
(Source: Construction Dive, 2020-12-02)
(Source: The New York Times, 2020-12-15)
(Source: USGNN, 2021-01-14)
(Source: PYMNTS.com, 2020-11-06)
(Source: Wired News, 2020-11-20)

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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