Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Landlord Alert: CDC Issues Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions

On September 1 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020.  With the July 24, 2020 expiration of the prior moratorium established under the CARES Act, the CDC based the new moratorium on the need to protect public health and the likely increase in the spread of COVID-19 if mass evictions take place.

Under the CDC’s Order, “a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which this Order applies ***.”  Tenants facing the prospect of eviction and wishing to invoke the moratorium must provide the landlord with a signed declaration containing specific sworn statements including:

  • The tenant has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.
  • The tenant expects to earn no more than $99,000 in calendar year 2020 (or $198,000 for joint tax filers).
  • The tenant is unable to pay the full rent due to substantial loss of household income.
  • The tenant is using best efforts to make partial rent payments.
  • Eviction would likely render the tenant homeless.

While the CDC’s Order broadly defines what constitutes a residential property and is intended to halt all efforts to remove a tenant for failing to pay rent until the end of the year, it does not relieve the obligation to pay rent or to comply with any other lease obligations. Thus, the Order does not preclude evictions based on criminal conduct, health and safety concerns of other residents, violations of applicable health ordinances and building codes, or the violation of other lease obligations that do not include the timely payment of rent.

Landlords need to be mindful of the CDC Order and seek legal counsel if contemplating eviction between now and the end of the year. Penalties for not complying are steep for an individual and include (i) fines of up to $100,000 if the violation does not result in a death, (ii) fines of up to $250,000 if the violation results in a death, (iii) and can in addition include one year in jail. Penalties for an organization violating the CDC Order similarly are based on whether the violation resulted in a death and can climb as high as $500,000 per violation.

For questions for more information, please contact Member Blake R. Gerney at brgerney@bmdllc.com, or your primary BMD attorney.

Will Federal Legislation Open Cannabis Acquisition Floodgate?

Are potential buyers quietly lobbying at federal and state levels to kick open the door to launch a new round of strategic acquisitions? Will presently pending federal legislation, the SAFE and MORE Acts, providing safe harbor for banks and re- or de-scheduling marijuana, be sufficient to mobilize into action major non-cannabis companies that previously shunned the cannabis industry due to the unknown implications of owning businesses whose activities are illegal under federal law?

The Future of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Over the last year we all have had to adjust to the new normal ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic. Schools and daycares closed, businesses transitioned from in-office work to work from home, bars and restaurants have closed their doors...all to slow the spread and try to prevent this pandemic from spiraling out of control. The start of the pandemic was utter pandemonium. Working parents trying to balance both caring for their now at-home children and their livelihood. Businesses trying to decide how to implement leave policies with limited information. Employees determining if they could financially afford to take time off. We were all flying by the seat of our pants trying to adjust to our new normal.

Ohio Supreme Court Clarifies Medical Statute of Limitations

The Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision in late December that clarifies and finalizes the Ohio law regarding the period of time in which patients can assert claims for medical malpractice. The Court was examining the interplay between three different statutes being the statute of limitations, the statute of repose, and the savings statute.

Ohio Hospitals and Healthcare Clinics: It’s Time to Revisit Your Billing and Collection Practices

According to a recent Cuyahoga County case, certain healthcare entities may not be protected from liability when engaging in unfair or deceptive billing acts. This decision is consistent with the growing trend across the country to encourage price transparency and eliminate unfair surprise billing practices by health care organizations. Now is the time for hospitals and other health care organizations to revisit their billing and collection policies and procedures to confirm that they are legally defensible and consistent with best practices.

HIPAA Business Associate Agreements: Why These Contracts Matter

No one loves drafting, reading or negotiating HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAAs). Yet many of us need to do so, and some of us do so daily. They are often boring, dense and technical, but BAAs are important from both a legal and a business perspective, and they deserve our attention. Failure to enter a BAA when one is required can constitute a HIPAA violation that results in substantial liability, as demonstrated by certain recent Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) settlements.1 A business associate who makes a disclosure that is not authorized by the applicable BAA or required by law can be subject to civil and, in some cases, criminal penalties. Further, parties are often presented with BAAs that contain onerous one-sided indemnification and other provisions that can be devasting to an organization in the event of a HIPAA breach. The significance of a BAA is often not fully understood by the parties until something goes wrong (e.g., a HIPAA security incident or breach, an Office of Civil Rights (OCR) audit or a fracture in the relationship between the parties) and, at that point, there is limited opportunity to mitigate legal and business risk. Ideally, attention should be given at the commencement of the business associate relationship, when the parties are able, to thoughtfully addressing regulatory requirements, planning and preparing for potential adverse events and appropriately allocating risk among the parties. As with most healthcare regulatory compliance initiatives, a proactive approach with respect to BAAs is preferable. This article provides a broad overview of certain BAA requirements and some practical negotiating tips for the parties involved.