COVID-19 Update: FAQ and Other Information for Clients

Articles Posted in Business Litigation and Dispute Resolution

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With Complaints Rapidly Increasing across the U.S., Now is the time to act

As of May 26, 2020, 2,278 complaints have been filed nationwide over the global pandemic COVID-19 according to the COVID-19 Complaint Tracker developed by lawyers at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. While the largest amount of these complaints deal with prison conditions and civil rights , the next highest areas of litigation involve insurance disputes, consumer disputes, labor and employment issues  and contract disputes. Claims regarding employment, contracts and force majeure provisions, or clauses contained in contracts which excuse performance due to natural destructive acts also known as “acts of God,” are on the rise. These complaints will continue to be filed as the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt in ever-changing ways. Many of these complaints have been filed in jurisdictions where KHF regularly practices—namely COVID-19 hot spots New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Continue reading ›

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In a changing COVID-19 world filled with new regulations, adjustments, and uncertainty, KHF provides services to help our clients avoid litigation or to obtain favorable outcomes in litigation. Some COVID-19 services offered by KHF that will help you address COVID-19-related issues include: Continue reading ›

Illustration of business paperwork by Megan RexazinMany businesses have now turned to the force majeure clauses present in their contracts—invoking the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is an unforeseeable “act of God” that has hindered the ability of parties to perform their duties as agreed.

In the May 14, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “Force Majeure During a Pandemic and Potential Contractual Disputes

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and individuals alike have struggled with following through on contracts that were agreed upon long before the novel coronavirus was even discovered, let alone foreseen as the cause of a worldwide health crisis. Many have now turned to the force majeure clauses present in their contracts—invoking the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is an unforeseeable “act of God” that has hindered the ability of parties to perform their duties as agreed. For those who do not have such clauses present in their contracts, can the same concept be invoked in a court of law?

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Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt, a boutique business litigation firm with offices in Philadelphia, PA and Marlton, NJ, is proud to once again congratulate Henry Donner, Of Counsel, named the Senior Statesman for Construction Lawyers—Pennsylvania—in the 2020 edition of Chambers USA.

As the only senior statesman for the construction law practice in PA, Chambers USA states that Donner has vast experience in litigating a range of construction disputes, noting that peers highlight him as “a legend in Pennsylvania.”

See the Chambers USA 2020 Review Here

Graphic shows two hands. One holding a contract that shows Force Majeure and the other hand signing.As a commercial transactional lawyer, I often speak to my clients and colleagues about contract management. While I am usually heavily involved in many stages of the contract lifecycle – most notably, negotiations, drafting, closings and amendments – the real work (and most problems) arise during contract performance, which is the time the contracting company is typically “on its own.”  I stress to my clients that competent management of contracts post-execution is critical: your management team needs to know its contractual obligations: due dates and milestones, payment terms, and areas of performance. Who’s doing what, when, and for how much?  I recommend companies appoint a contract manager to maintain each contract and its pertinent information, and create a database of performance, payment, and other obligation information, along with applicable deadlines and a “tickler” system.

Now, in the wake of COVID-19 and its tremendous impact on businesses, it is important to pull out those databases, and update them with information particular to the current state of operations – yours and your contracting partners. Continue reading ›

In the January 23, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “Beyond the Courts: The Potential Future of Arbitration

This recent decision has implications for how practitioners understand the court system and arbitration system to usually work, as well as raising already-existent questions about the fairness of arbitration clauses and its applicability for various types of claims.

In a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, we saw a rare event—the court affirmed the district court’s decision to vacate an arbitration award in Monongahela Valley Hospital v. United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC, ___F.3d___ (3d Cir. Dec. 30, 2019). This case exemplified one of the rare situations in which the courts have decided to exercise authority and “correct” arbitration awards that have appeared to be blatantly unfair, which could arise from a variety of reasons. This recent decision has implications for how practitioners understand the court system and arbitration system to usually work, as well as raising already-existent questions about the fairness of arbitration clauses and its applicability for various types of claims.

Monongahela Valley Hospital involved a dispute between the hospital and one of its “bargaining unit” employees who are members of the union under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). About half of the employees of the hospital are supervisors who are not bargaining unit employees. The CBA governed the relationship between the hospital and the bargaining unit employees. The grievances centered around the hospital’s denial of a unit bargaining employee’s request for vacation due to a non-unit bargaining employee’s request for the same time off. The hospital denied the unit bargaining employee’s request because her supervisor, a nonbargaining unit employee, had requested the same week off and both could not be away at the same time. Using its authority to have the “final” say in the matter, the hospital denied the bargaining unit employee’s request. Continue reading ›

Best Lawyers 2020 BadgeKang Haggerty & Fetbroyt has received national recognition for its Construction Law practice in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” 2020. In addition, the firm received a tier 2 rating in Philadelphia for commercial litigation and construction law.

This marks the 10th year of the collaboration between U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®, in releasing the “Best Law Firms” rankings. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must first have a lawyer recognized in The Best Lawyers in America©, which recognizes the top 5% of private practicing lawyers in the United States. The 2020 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and client votes received on record. Almost 16,000 lawyers provided more than 1,229,000 law firm assessments, and more than 12,000 clients participated providing 107,000 evaluations.

For more information, please visit https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/. For details on the methodology used, please visit https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

In the October 17, 2019 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “A Piece of the Tort(e): Tortious Interference With Expectancy of Inheritance.”

While recently gaining traction in both the public eye and the legal field, the claim of tortious interference with expectancy of inheritance is actually quite old and its interpretations vary among different jurisdictions, including in Pennsylvania.

Recently, a potential client came to me with the claim that his sibling was guilty of tortious interference with expectancy of inheritance. Although I decided not to take on the client for several reasons, his correspondence brought to my attention a twist in the traditional tortious interference claim. While recently gaining traction in both the public eye and the legal field, the claim of tortious interference with expectancy of inheritance is actually quite old and its interpretations vary among different jurisdictions, including in Pennsylvania. Continue reading ›

In the September 5, 2019 edition of The Legal Intelligencer, Edward T. Kang, Managing Member of KHF wrote “‘T.M. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ – Lessons on Standards of Evidence.”

The value of the reinstatement of T.M. v. Janssen for lawyers is that it clarifies laws about evidence, how courts determine evidence’s reliability, and general lessons on procedural law.

Last month, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reinstated a case concerning the drug Risperdal, which had initially been dismissed mid-trial in 2016. Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical’s drug, Risperdal, is currently the subject of thousands of suits alleging that the drug directly caused gynecomastia in many young men.

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Gregory H. Mathews

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Henry J. Donner

KHF is pleased to announce that Gregory H. Mathews (Commercial Litigation) and Henry J. Donner (Construction Law) have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020, recognized for excellence in their respective practices for the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania market.

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