The hospitality industry entered 2021 on an optimistic note amid signs the coronavirus pandemic was being reined in, but the omicron and delta variants have created uncertainty about the future for hotels, restaurants, clubs and other venues in 2022.
The persistence of COVID-19 now has hospitality businesses gearing up for the long term and preparing to face a future of new technologies, health and safety protocols, and lending and insurance challenges as the pandemic's impacts linger on, lawyers say.
Here, hospitality attorneys discuss how the pandemic has affected their practices and steps they're advising clients to take as they enter the new year.
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While the picture is less clear for state court suits, policyholder attorneys Rhonda D. Orin and shareholder Marshall Gilinsky of Anderson Kill PC say such cases have fared better in those courts. The attorneys say policyholders should remind themselves that they are in the fight over pandemic business-interruption insurance for the long haul.
"If you think you have coverage, go for it," Orin said during a webinar hosted by Anderson Kill in late November. "There were a lot of losses in the environmental and asbestos world until the courts finally started reading the policies for what they said."
"Policyholders are struggling," but the federal courts' dismissals of their suits should not be binding precedent because each case involves different state laws and facts, and insurance issues are a matter of state law, she said.
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