Commercial

Property Owner Settles Tenant Lawsuit for $3.5 Million

The former owner and manager of two apartment complexes in Washington, D.C. will pay $3.5 million to settle a tenant lawsuit alleging rat and bed bug infestations, sewage leaks, mold contamination and other hazards. The lawsuit, brought by the district’s attorney general in October 2018, also claimed the buildings’ hundreds of tenants were subjected to…

Toxic Hand Sanitizer and Cub Scout Pins, Mislabeled Granola Underscore Recall Risks

Dozens of hand sanitizer products have been recalled or recommended for recall for potentially containing methanol, which can be toxic when ingested or absorbed through the skin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first alerted consumers in June about the presence of methanol, also known as wood alcohol, in nine products. Since then, the…

More Bars, Restaurants Can Now Deliver Alcohol, Shifting Liability Risks

A bill that would allow home delivery of alcoholic beverages in Georgia is moving forward after it won approval in the Georgia House of Representatives on June 25. House Bill 879, headed to Governor Brian Kemp for consideration within 45 days, would permit stores and some restaurants to provide home delivery of beer, wine and…

Reopened Businesses Contend with Mask Mandates, Liability Waivers and New Risks

On June 20 an Orange County, Florida Walmart employee was assaulted by a customer who refused to wear a mask despite a county-wide executive order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. It is one of many disputes that have erupted in recent weeks over mask mandates from various state and local governments as well…

Vandalism, Storms, and Lawsuits Plague Beleaguered Businesses

Businesses around the world are experiencing the effects of the largest economic downturn since the 1940s. Some economists show the U.S. as having exited or nearly recovered from the recession that began in February, and Canada is showing signs of recovering from its deepest recession on record. Nevertheless, businesses continue to face numerous risks while…

Hospitality Sector Adapts to New Risks, Restrictions as Casinos, Hotels Reopen

Caesars Palace, MGM Resorts and several other Las Vegas hotel-casinos are slated to resume operations starting June 4, according to the Nevada governor’s May 26 press release. Though Las Vegas casinos must implement requirements such as mandatory temperature checks for guests and are subject to various restrictions, reopening is a significant milestone in the embattled…

Expansion of Workers’ Compensation Benefits for COVID-19 Sparks Concerns

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s May 6 executive order expanded Workers’ Compensation benefits to employees who test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of performing a labor or service at work. Critics of Newsom’s order, including concerned business owners and the California Chamber of Commerce, argue that it could drive up costs for businesses already struggling…

Surge in Thefts at Businesses Shuttered by COVID-19

Commercial properties left vacant during coronavirus-related shutdowns have increasingly become the target of burglaries, adding another challenge for businesses already facing mounting hardship. Even as overall crime rates have plummeted globally, New York City saw a 169 percent spike in commercial burglaries in April and Vancouver reported a 147 percent increase in commercial break-ins between…

Ask the Expert Q&A: Cannabis Industry’s Growth Shapes Risk Considerations

The cannabis industry continues to experience growth in the U.S. and Canada. Medical and recreational marijuana sales are expected to reach nearly $30 billion in the U.S. by 2023, and sales have surged even during the COVID-19 crisis. The market’s rapidly changing landscape presents unique risk management considerations for those involved in the cultivation, production,…

Taking on New Risks: Businesses Evolve to Face Challenges Posed By COVID-19

Businesses in the United States and Canada have had to adapt to an unprecedented set of uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances in recent weeks. According to a recent Goldman Sachs survey of U.S. small business owners, 96 percent say that they have already been impacted by coronavirus, or COVID-19. “Many companies are experiencing changes in…