YOUR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION POLICY DOES NOT COVER LOSSES ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19? THINK TWICE ABOUT SUING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT
By: Jonathan Adelman Most businesses are experiencing financial losses due to Covid-19 and shelter in place orders. Those with business interruption insurance are likely disappointed to have learned that “civil authority” clauses, which cover losses due to a government order, typically require corelating property damage or the threat of the same. Furthermore, business interruption polices routinely do not cover losses resulting from disease and/or pandemic. So, where does that leave you? Some companies might initially want to blame their insurance agents for not procuring an insurance policy which covers losses associated with what many businesses are now experiencing. However, in Georgia, prevailing on such a claim is an uphill battle. The Georgia Court of Appeals very recently clarified longstanding law and held the following: “In general, an insured has an obligation to read and examine an insurance policy to determine whether the coverage desired has been furnished . . . [,and] the policyholder[‘s] failure to examine the policy bars coverage against the insurer or its agent for failure to provide coverage.” Martin v. Chasteen, A19A1980, 2020 WL 1239488 (2020). There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. “[W]hen the agent has held himself out as an expert and the insured has reasonably relied on that agent’s expertise to identify and procure the correct amount or type of insurance,” a claim could exist. However, that exception is inapplicable if a review of the policy would have made it “readily apparent” that coverage did not exist. Traina Enterprises v. Cord & Wilburn, […]
WACHP Continues Remote Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In compliance with Federal and State guidelines, the attorneys of Waldon Adelman Castilla Hiestand & Prout have transitioned to working remotely for the coming weeks. Our technology allows us full access to client matters. All attorneys are available by email and cell phone to assist with ongoing cases, accept new assignments, and advise clients as to the effect of the Georgia Supreme Court’s Statewide Judicial Emergency Order and Governor Brian Kemp’s Executive Order on pending claims and litigation. When possible and in the best interest of our clients, depositions and other meetings will be held via videoconference. A skeleton staff will be physically present on a rotating basis to process mail and execute essential in-office operations. Upon request, we will hold invoices for ninety (90) days on new litigation matters received during the pandemic in an effort to ease cashflow for existing and new clients. Waldon Adelman Castilla Hiestand & Prout is dedicated to protecting the health of our firm members, clients, and community. We look forward to seeing everyone back together as soon as we are assured it is safe to return.
Despite Testimony of Treating Physician, Cobb County Jury Returns Double Defense Verdict
On March 8 and March 9, 2020, Taylor Barnett successfully defended a case involving an admitted liability, rear-end accident. Both plaintiffs were transported from the scene via ambulance. Plaintiffs introduced the testimony of their treating chiropractor and orthopedist, both of whom related their alleged injuries to the accident. Both plaintiffs’ MRIs showed multiple bulging discs. Ultimately, plaintiffs presented evidence of approximately $49,000 in medical bills and $6,700 in lost wages, combined. In closing, they asked the jury for an award of $80,000. After a short deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict as to both plaintiffs.
From 2018 thru 2019, WACHP closed 7,767 matters.
We recognize the desire of our insurance clients to move matters towards a conclusion in an efficient and expeditious fashion.
WACHP is pleased to announce that Brian McCarthy had been named a partner of the firm.
WACHP is proud to announce that Marcia Freeman and Travis Meyer have been named partners of the firm.
In 2018 alone, WACHP closed 3,956 cases.
Congratulations to our Super Lawyers
We take great pride in announcing that five of our lawyers have been named 2019 Georgia Super Lawyers (Jonathan Adelman, Trevor Hiestand, Brian McCarthy, Daniel C. Prout, Jr., and Russell D. Waldon). Two of our lawyers (Ashley Rice and Rakhi McNeill) have been named Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Stars. (Only 5% of the lawyers in Georgia are given the Super Lawyer designation following a multiphase selection process.) In addition, Super Lawyers has named Jonathan Adelman one of Georgia’s Top 100 attorneys for 2019.
WACHP Welcomes Senior Counsel Brian McCarthy
We are pleased to announce that Brian McCarthy has joined our firm as Senior Counsel. Brian brings over fifteen (15) years of significant litigation experience to the firm. Brian has earned the respect of his peers, clients, and bench and has been named a Georgia Super Lawyer. Brian’s practice will focus on matters involving general civil and business litigation, insurance defense, insurance coverage, motor vehicle liability, premises liability, and construction litigation.
WACHP Names Becky Gabelman Partner
We are pleased to announce that Becky Gabelman has been elected to partnership in the firm. Becky has been instrumental to our firm’s success and is a vital part of our future.