The Latest COVID-19 Legal Developments – Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Below please find Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s COVID-19 weekly digest, which includes our analysis of the most current legal developments related to this pandemic. To receive regular updates, news and information related to COVID-19, please register here.

COVID-19 Updates

  • Remediation of Contaminated Sites Executive Orders and NJDEP Updates on Extensions and Proposed Rules
    Environmental Practice

    ​This alert reports on Executive Order No. 122 pertaining to the remediation of contaminated sites in New Jersey; recent New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) guidance and emergency rule adoptions for extension requests; and Executive Order No. 127 extending the time for adoption of proposed rules – including proposed rules for PFOS and PFOA drinking water MCLs and proposed rules making significant changes to existing New Jersey remediation standards.
  • A Little Known Secret of the CARES Act – Increased Ability for Companies to Seek Relief Under the Newly Enacted Small Business Reorganization Act
    Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice
    As a result of COVID-19, it is likely that there will be a tsunami of restructuring activity this year and for the near future. Typically, when a business was in financial distress, it would first try out-of-court workout solutions as an alternative to filing a formal bankruptcy proceeding. These out-of-court remedies have included forbearance agreements with a company’s lender, an amendment to or restatement of its credit facility, raising capital, surrendering of collateral to a secured creditor or trying to sell assets outside of bankruptcy to gain liquidity.

Industry and State Specific Guidance

  • Is It the Chicken or the Egg When It Comes to Alleged Violations of Consumer Protection Laws?
    Consumer Financial Services Litigation

    On April 23, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accused the country’s largest egg producer, which sells brands like Egg-Land’s Best and Land O’ Lakes, of raising the price of a dozen eggs by 300%. See Texas v. Cal-Maine Foods Inc., No. 20205427 (215th Dist. Ct. Harris Cty. Tex. Apr. 23, 2020). In California, in an apparently related consumer class action, Whole Foods, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and a host of other grocery businesses are alleged to be illegally marking up the price of eggs in violation of California’s consumer protection laws in the midst of the pandemic. See Frazer v. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., No. 3:20-cv-2733 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 20, 2020). It is alleged in the California case that more than two dozen grocery stores, wholesalers, and producers have been nearly tripling the price of eggs over the past month following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s emergency declaration that ordered all nonessential workers to stay home as the virus swept around the world.