In a new complaint yesterday, plaintiffs that operate the food delivery platforms DoorDash, Caviar, Grubhub, Seamless, Postmates, and Uber Eats sued the City of New York to challenge caps on fees that these platforms can charge restaurants to use their services.  The caps – at 15% of an online order for delivery services, and 5% for all other services (such as marketing) – were originally enacted as a temporary measure at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when restaurants were forced to close for in-person dining.

The suit takes issue with the City’s decision to extend these caps indefinitely:
Continue Reading Food Delivery Platforms Challenge City-Imposed Caps on Fees

Based on various orders recently appearing on the dockets, it appears that in-person civil jury trials will begin in May, under a centralized calendaring system. One typical order explains as follows:

The Southern District of New York has reconfigured courtrooms and other spaces in its courthouses to allow civil jury trials to proceed as safely

In a decision last week, Judge Cote ruled that the COVID-19 pandemic qualified as a “natural disaster” that fell within the scope of a contractual force majeure clause. The defendant auction house had agreed to auction a painting owned by the plaintiff and pay it a guaranteed minimum price, but invoked its right to terminate the agreement after the auction was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic and related government restrictions.

The force majeure clause applied in the event of “circumstances beyond our or your reasonable control, including, without limitation, as a result of natural disaster, fire, flood, general strike, war, armed conflict, terrorist attack or nuclear or chemical contamination.” Judge Cote held that the pandemic was “a circumstance beyond the parties’ reasonable control” and a “natural disaster”:


Continue Reading Judge Cote: COVID-19 Pandemic is a “Natural Disaster” for Purposes of Contractual Force Majeure Clause

Last week, a group of plaintiffs filed a complaint against federal agencies (including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) challenging the federal government’s handling of information reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The plaintiffs include a public charter school, a non-profit health and housing group, a New York City councilmember, and a medical student.  According to the complaint, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 mandated the creation of a “biosurveillance network” to provide information on the progress of public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, but the agencies tasked with creating and maintaining the network have failed to carry out their biosurveillance duties, failing to adequately report information, and failing to involve the public in policymaking decisions (as required by the law):
Continue Reading NYC Plaintiffs Challenge Federal COVID-19 Information Reporting in New Suit