PLDO recently issued an advisory about the forthcoming explosion of lawsuits arising out of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the article addressed the legal concept of “force majeure” and predicted that many businesses will claim that the pandemic prevented them from performing their contractual obligations, which is the thrust of force majeure – a party’s ability to be excused from performing their obligations in a contract based upon so-called “acts of God” or unforeseen circumstances.
The advisory author, PLDO Partner Brian J. Lamoureux’s prediction was on the mark as lawsuits have started winding their way through the courts. Many of these cases involve insurance disputes over coverage and losses, lawsuits between suppliers and buyers of raw material and products, and employment disputes among unions, employees, and employers over working conditions. Another particularly hot area for COVID-19 disputes is playing out in bankruptcy courts throughout the country. Indeed, we have seen the beginning of the end of many former blue-chip companies such as Hertz, Neiman Marcus, and JC Penney, to name a few. Although it is much too early to draw any firm conclusions about how all of this litigation will play out, a very recent bankruptcy decision out of Illinois provides an interesting insight into how courts might handle these difficult situations.
In his follow-up advisory, Attorney Lamoureux describes the Illinois case and offers three key takeaways for readers to consider, including the approach courts may take to resolve disputes caused by the pandemic crisis. To access the advisory, click on Courts Start to Weigh In on COVID-19 Lawsuits. For more information, please contact Attorney Lamoureux at 401-824-5100 or email

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