How to Make Sure Your Business Can Withstand Lawsuits
Starting a business is no simple task. It takes money, planning, time, effort, more money, fine tuning, and gumption. Unfortunately, business owners can let all that they’ve worked to accomplish be put at risk if they’re not ready to withstand, fight, and pay for lawsuits.
Whether it’s a contract dispute from a vendor, or a wage and hour case, being on the receiving end of a lawsuit can be a anywhere from stressful to a nightmare. However, if a business is properly insured and ready to manage their public image, even unwinnable lawsuits can be weathered with minimal disruption to revenues and profits.
Insurance Coverage Is Key
When it comes to keeping your money, the best way to make sure a lawsuit doesn’t gut the business’s finances is to maintain proper insurance for any and all potential liabilities. This means not just having insurance, but having the right insurance and sufficient coverage.
Consulting with your attorney to understand your business’s potential liabilities, then consulting with a qualified business insurance agent, can help ensure your business is fully covered for whatever legal actions get thrown at it. However, on top of having insurance, a business owner must understand and abide by their insurance policies’ terms and conditions.
This will likely require some amount of additional work, such as monitoring employee complaints, or mandatory new hire or annual training. Asking your attorney to review your insurance policies against your business’s policies and procedures can help you be certain that your insurance will cover any potential liabilities.
Public Image, Good Will, and Your Reputation
While people like to threaten litigation as if one lawsuit is going to impact the entire world’s desire to do business with you, the wrong type of publicity caused by a lawsuit can have disastrous results. This is where solid, and decisive, business judgment needs to be exercised.
Even if the costs of litigation can be weathered, if a case is poised to create negative publicity, settling the matter quickly and quietly can often be the correct business move, even if costly at the time. Conversely, sometimes a business must take a lawsuit all the way to the finish line in order to be vindicated in the public’s eye. Knowing which path to take often requires consulting with more than just attorneys, but also seasoned trial attorneys as well as marketing consultants.
[Modified from an article by By George Khoury, Esq. dated June 21, 2017]
Interesting Lawsuit of the Month: Spurs Fan Files Lawsuit Against Warriors and Warriors Center Zaza Pachulia
Last month, a “devoted, lifelong” San Antonio Spurs fan has filed a lawsuit naming Golden State Warriors Center Zaza Pachulia and the Warriors as defendants, alleging the center’s actions against Spurs player Kawhi Leonard in Game 1 “devastated the quality of the Spurs’ chances of being competitive” and diminished “the value of the tickets purchased by plaintiff subsequent to their purchase.”
“All we are asking from the court is that this type of behavior, that can and does cause serious injury to our team and those that love it, not be allowed in San Antonio,” Alfonso Kennard Jr., lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told the San Antonio Express-News.
During the Warriors’ win in the opener of the Western Conference finals, Pachulia rotated over to contest a long 2-pointer by Leonard near the Spurs’ bench, closing out the move under the forward’s feet. Leonard then landed on Pachulia’s foot, further tweaking his already-sprained left ankle. Leonard would later miss the rest of the series due to the injury.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Bexar County district court in Texas and named Juan Vasquez and a local memorabilia store as co-plaintiffs, states Pachulia acted “without excuse or justification, intentionally and maliciously invaded the landing zone of an opposing athlete, Kawhi Leonard.”
The plaintiffs’ demands in the lawsuit also include damages no greater than $73,000, a temporary restraining order issued that requires the defendants restrain the conduct described and other relief the plaintiffs are ruled to be justly entitled to.
According to local reports, District Judge Norma Gonzales initially rejected the request for a 14-day restraining order.
“The important part is the temporary injunction,” Kennard said, according to CBS affiliate KENS5, referencing the next potential step of the lawsuit. “It sets the parameters of what parties must abide by pending resolution of the underlying lawsuit.”
Quote of the Month
“Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.”
-Jeffrey Zeldman, A List Apart Publisher