As Hurricane Ian has just pushed its way through Florida, business owners may find themselves unprepared for the harsh realities of recovery and the breadth of the impact on their business. If your organization has suffered substantial adversity, a minor challenge, or would like to have a plan in place for the future, McDonald Hopkins is committed to supporting our clients in navigating through this difficult time. 

Through decades of experience supporting clients during hurricane recovery, McDonald Hopkins is uniquely positioned to assist in a wide variety of areas:

Insurance Claims
We work with our clients to review current insurance policies to better understand if a loss could be covered. 

Construction Contracting
Our team guides individuals, families, and businesses as they seek to interpret insurance policies and claims, as well as bids, proposals, settlements, and contracts relating to tarping, public adjusting, recovery, demolition, renovation, and reconstruction. The complexity and risks associated with recovery after a hurricane require diligence from the initial state of recovery through project completion. Ensuring you have the proper contract terms and appropriate settlement agreements will help reduce unnecessary risk and loss as you recover. Do not sign contracts or settlements without guidance, and be especially vigilant not to fall for predatory practices.

Lease Disputes
Our team has extensive experience representing tenants and landlords regarding post-disaster lease issues. Rent abatements, enforcing landlord remedies, or seeking waivers of late fees and defaults are just a few of the issues that must be understood and dealt with when negotiating post-disaster lease issues.

Our team is prepared to provide guidance on the interpretation of force majeure clauses, whether contractual performance has been rendered impossible, and/or whether there has been a mutual default of the parties as neither can perform under the respective lease.

Landlord/Tenant Issues 
Our team has supported both landlords and tenants to work through hurricane-related issues such as the allocation of loss, payment of loss via CAM, tenant improvement reconstruction, rent abatement, and lender related issues.

Loan Compliance 
In the event of property damage, we can assist clients in reviewing commercial loan documents to properly notify their insurance carrier and lender of damage, coordinate the filing of insurance claims, comply with loan covenants, and coordinate the respective rights of the owner and lender to disburse insurance proceeds for repair and/or debt reduction.

Our team has extensive experience representing owners and individual members of condominium associations and boards who may not be familiar with all the details and legal documentation that goes into a construction repair project. 

By assisting clients in all aspects of contract drafting and negotiation, claim preparation, and dispute resolution (through mediation, arbitration, or litigation), our goal is for our clients to avoid unnecessary litigation. If litigation ensues, we provide timely guidance designed to protect our clients’ profits and human resources. Whether the subject involves hurricane damage, damage apportionment, causes of damage or loss, defaults, or other disputes, we have the lawyers and the experience for early problem identification and resolution.

McDonald Hopkins would be honored to represent you through these challenging times.

If you do not already have an attorney contact at the firm, please contact Cynthia Stewart, Director of Client Development, at 216.348.5733 or cstewart@mcdonaldhopkins.com. 

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