As the Coronavirus crisis persists, America’s richly diverse private business sector finds itself increasingly subject to unprecedented governmental orders and restrictions that were unheard of only a few weeks ago. While the various “shutdown,” “shelter in place,” and “non-essential business” orders all aim to protect the public health, there is no doubt that the wave of litigation to follow is already swelling.
Business interruption, civil authority, and cyber insurance coverages have already been widely discussed as issues certain to be litigated over the coming months and beyond. Additionally, breach of contract litigation is likely to spike as parties attempt to recoup their losses from canceled events, unfulfilled purchase commitments and other unmet obligations.
Moreover, regional and national businesses are now in the difficult position of managing their respective affairs to comply with a patchwork of executive orders that are inconsistent from state to state. And, as the pandemic wears on, many are questioning the authority under which some of these executive orders and emergency regulations are being issued in the first place. Indeed, constitutional challenges are almost certain to follow as the business community reframes the characterization of their losses into notions of unconstitutional takings of private property and governmental impairment of private contract rights.