Pandemic Isn't a 'Casualty' Event

What Happened: Another retail tenant has failed in its bid to use COVID-19 as an excuse for not paying rent. The tenant in this case was a New York City outlet of national retail chain The Gap, which claimed, among other things, that the pandemic and its resulting shutdowns constituted a “fire or other casualty” event rendering the premises unusable and relieving the tenant of its rent duties under the lease.

Ruling: The New York federal court disagreed and awarded summary judgment—that is, victory without trial, to the landlord.

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