In a 2017 interview, Nigel Travis, former CEO of Dunkin’ Brands, stated that “delivery will be the next wave” in the restaurant industry and that it would “be like a revolution,” occurring “faster than anyone thinks.” Travis was not wrong; in fact, recent statistics shared by Melissa Wilson at the 2018 Restaurant Leadership Conference show Travis’ prediction quickly taking hold – 86% of consumers are using off-premise delivery services at least monthly and one third of consumers are using it more than they did a year ago. By some estimates, delivery services are projected to grow at least 12% per year over the next five years. While a handful of restaurants are filling the delivery demand themselves, more and more restaurants are looking to third-party delivery service providers to help them connect with the consumer. In fact, “third-party delivery services like UberEats, Grubhub, and Postmates currently represent $9 billion in restaurant sales today, and they are predicted to account for $16 billion in sales by 2022.”

Continue Reading Restaurants on Wheels

In a move affecting manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the furniture and other wood-based industries, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently issued a series of amendments to its Final Rule implementing the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act (the “Formaldehyde Final Rule”), which added Title VI to the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”). The Formaldehyde Final Rule, 40 CFR Part 770, sets formaldehyde emissions standards for composite wood products and includes requirements for the testing, third-party certification, import certification and labeling of covered products by manufacturers of those products. The Final Rule also imposes requirements on downstream fabricators, distributors and retailers to keep records for at least three years demonstrating that covered products they use, distribute and/or sell are TSCA Title VI-compliant. Continue Reading Recent Amendments to EPA’s Formaldehyde Emissions Final Rule Affect Furniture Industry

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746 (2014), numerous courts across the country have applied its holding to narrow the permissible bounds of the exercise of general jurisdiction over companies in jurisdictions without a connection to the specific claims in the case. On August 29, 2016, in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court, No. S221038 (Calif. 2016), the California Supreme Court left many wondering what Daimler may mean for the exercise of specific jurisdiction in cases involving nationwide courses of business conduct affecting both resident and nonresident plaintiffs.  Continue Reading CA Supreme Court Raises Questions About Post-Daimler Bounds of Specific Jurisdiction

On July 19, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held in Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. H.D. Smith, LLC, No. 15-2825 that a general liability insurer’s duty to defend suits seeking damages “because of bodily injury” was triggered when the state of West Virginia sued a pharmaceutical distributor, alleging it had contributed to an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, causing the state to spend money to care for addicted citizens. Continue Reading Pharmaceutical Distributor Sued – A Tough Pill for Insurers to Swallow

President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (“Lautenberg Act”) into law in June 2016, amending the core provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) for the first time in nearly 40 years. Last month, Hunton & Williams detailed how the Lautenberg Act considerably broadens the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) authority to evaluate chemical safety and regulate use of chemicals in all stages of the supply chain, including manufacturing, distribution and retail sale. Within six months, EPA must select at least 10 chemical substances and begin risk evaluations on them. EPA must also classify chemicals – including those currently in the retail supply chain – as “high priority” or “low priority” for review, and begin risk evaluations on 20 high priority chemicals within the next three and a half years. Continue Reading Major Implications for Retail Industry Following Overhaul of Toxic Substance Control Act

Recently, HoneyBaked Foods, Inc., Wornick Foods and Foster Farms have been in the news because of different kinds of contamination claims. Syed Ahmad and Matthew McLellan, attorneys on Hunton & Williams LLP’s Insurance Coverage Counseling and Litigation team, authored an article entitled A Primer On Insurance Coverage for Food Contamination Losses, which provides an overview of insurance protection for food contamination issues that retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers may encounter. The article describes the insurance coverage available under traditional insurance policies, as well insurance protection designed specifically to cover contamination events experienced by food and beverage retailers. Through discussion of recent, high-profile contamination events and product recalls, the article provides insight on the type of losses that may be covered and the necessary proof of loss, as well as some of the pitfalls and limitations on coverage that retailers and other types of policyholders may face.

Read the full article in Food Logistics Magazine.

We previously reported on the proposed regulations initiated by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and its impact on retailers. Retailers should take steps to ensure that they are protected from Prop 65 claims, particularly with the proposed regulations in the pipeline. As with any regulatory requirements that impact businesses, often the best defense is a good offense — forethought, assessment and implementation of a compliance program can minimize the costs, headaches, business disruption and negative publicity that may otherwise occur. Continue Reading How Retailers Can Protect Themselves from Prop 65 Proposed Regulations, Part 3

On April 21, 2016, Hunton & Williams LLP announced the launch of a cross-practice 3D printing team to advise clients as they explore this revolutionary technology. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is being adopted by manufacturers in many industries, including consumer products, aviation, energy, medical, prosthetic and transportation, and is becoming integrated into the production process. Continue Reading Hunton & Williams Launches 3D Printing Team to Guide Clients through Emerging Technology’s Legal Complexities

As we previously reported, the Prop 65 statute prohibits businesses from exposing people in California to any of the over 800 listed chemicals without first providing a “clear and reasonable” warning. Currently, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is working to repeal existing Prop 65 warning regulations and adopt new requirements. However, the proposed regulations contain several problematic provisions regarding the content and method of transmission for required warnings. Retailers need to be aware of proposed provisions which clearly apportion responsibility for providing warnings throughout the chain of commerce. Though purportedly aimed at reducing retailers’ Prop 65 warning burden, if implemented as written, the provisions will actually increase retailers’ risks and allow manufacturers to insulate themselves from liability at retailers’ expense. Continue Reading Proposed Regulations to Prop 65 Likely to Increase Impact on Retailers, Part 2

For retailers operating in California, the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (“Prop 65”) is a constant and often costly headache. Among other requirements, Prop 65 prohibits businesses with ten or more employees, including those that ship products into California, from exposing people in California to any of the over 800 listed chemicals without first providing a “clear and reasonable” warning. The statute also contains a prohibition against discharging or releasing listed chemicals to “sources of drinking water” in the state, but those provisions are not discussed here. The list of over 800 chemicals is revised and updated annually.

Continue Reading Proposition 65: Impact on Retailers, Part 1