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Evolving Risks of COVID-19: Coverage Implications, Recent Litigation and the Legislative Landscape

SKU: BUS8500
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The financial losses businesses throughout the US continue to suffer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented, with the true scope of loss yet to be realized. A high degree of uncertainty remains among business owners as to access to relief for COVID-19 related losses, including the availability of insurance coverage for loss of income under business interruption policies and other lines of insurance. The insurance industry has largely maintained that business interruption coverage is unavailable for COVID-19 related losses based on express policy terms and applicable exclusions. Pressure has been mounting on the insurance industry as a result of a growing number of lawsuits being filed against insurers, and further legislative actions being pursued at both the state and federal levels.

Join Saxe Doernberger & Vita's Richard W. Brown, Jeff Vita and Andres Avila for the upcoming Evolving Risks of COVID-19 webinar where you will learn the basics of insurance coverage, including particular lines of coverage implicated by COVID-19 and best practices for preparing and submitting claims. Lastly, the group will address the current landscape of insurance coverage litigation and the status of legislation being considered at the state and federal levels, which would compel insurers to provide coverage for COVID-19 related business interruption losses.

Lecturer Bios

Richard W. Brown, Esq.

Richard W. Brown serves a diverse and growing client base including regional apparel manufacturers, national and international general contractors and multinational utility companies. His practice focuses on complex commercial coverage disputes and litigation in state and federal courts, with an emphasis on the power and energy industry. He provides counsel on insurance recovery issues involving CGL, Builder’s Risk, commercial property and additional insured claims.

Prior to joining SDV, Rich was with the State & Local Tax Group of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he advised clients on issues such as sale and use tax compliance, fulfillment of state reporting requirements and legislative changes. He also served as corporate counsel at Franchise World Headquarters, international franchiser for SUBWAY® Restaurants, where he managed complex commercial litigation matters. This role required extensive interaction with regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice and allowed him to gain invaluable experience in negotiations and dispute resolution.

Rich is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, fishing and softball and can oftentimes be found at Yankee Stadium cheering on his favorite team. He resides in Orange, Connecticut with his wife and their two sons.

Andres Avila, Esq.

Andres Avila brings a wealth of experience in international insurance and reinsurance to SDV, having previously advised major international insurance and reinsurance companies in large and complex claims in Colombia and other Latin American jurisdictions. Andres also has extensive regulatory and policy-drafting experience on a cross-border regional basis.

A native of Bogota, Colombia, Andres interned at a reinsurance broker while in law school. He came to the United States in 2009 and began his legal career in the Miami office of an international law firm, where he was ultimately responsible for its Latin American regulatory practice. He subsequently relocated to that firm’s London headquarters overseeing its worldwide practice of Colombian Law. Andres returned to the United States to pursue his LL.M. in Insurance Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he graduated with honors. He was a contributing editor for its Insurance Law Journal and received the Insurance Law Center’s LL.M. Award for distinguished academic performance in the field of insurance law and dedicated service to the community.

Andres was named as one of the 40 insurance industry rising stars under the age of 35 by Intelligent Insurer Magazine in the U.K. and ranked as a Band 2 Associate by Chambers and Partners, an international company ranking the most outstanding law firms and lawyers in over 180 jurisdictions throughout the world. In addition to fluent English and his native Spanish, Andres also speaks Portuguese and French. In his spare time, he enjoys training for triathlons and traveling. Andres currently resides in New Haven, Connecticut.

Jeffrey J. Vita, Esq.

Jeffrey J. Vita is one of the founding members of SDV and has more than two decades of experience handling complex, multi-party insurance matters in jurisdictions across the U.S. Jeff is recognized as a seasoned litigator, having successfully tried numerous cases to resolution and obtaining significant recoveries for his clients at both the trial and appellate level. Most notably, he successfully argued to the Connecticut Supreme Court that construction defect claims constitute an occurrence under general liability policies, a decision that impacted the national debate on this issue.

In addition to his active litigation practice, Jeff also works with clients to craft creative risk transfer solutions. He counsels on insurance and risk management issues related to the construction, manufacturing, power and energy, transportation, healthcare and real estate industries, as well as in the municipal sector. Jeff has been retained as an expert witness in complex coverage actions, and has authored numerous articles and frequently lectures on insurance coverage issues such as additional insured, bad faith, priority and allocation of coverage, risk transfer and indemnity, builder’s risk, business interruption, professional liability and wrap-up insurance programs. He has been named to Best Lawyers© in America from 2006-2017 and has been selected as a New England Super Lawyer from 2007-2019.

A member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Jeff also serves as the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Hamden, Connecticut, where he resides with his family.

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