United States: Legal Tokes Betoken Weeding Of Insurance Regs … And More

The cannabis business continues to expand throughout the United States with 33 states that allow some use of medical cannabis, 10 states that allow adult use of cannabis and most others that allow for limited medical use of CBD (cannabidiol). In fact, only four states bar the use of all cannabis products. While the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) continues to identify cannabis as a Schedule I drug, the Obama and Trump administrations have ushered in an era that provides some assurance to the cannabis industry that personal use of marijuana and operation of state-regulated cannabis businesses will not be the targets of federal prosecution. In turn, the expansion of the legal cannabis industry requires that it be able to manage risk through insurance for property and liability losses.

The current cannabis insurance market overwhelmingly comprises surplus lines carriers. There also are several smaller admitted carriers that operate in California. Several major commercial carriers should enter the market by the end of 2019, both on a surplus and admitted basis. Federal legalization will, of course, greatly accelerate this process. Unlike other business models, however, the application of insurance policy language to cannabis losses is in its infancy. Given questions on coverage, some states such as Oregon require insurers to clarify how policy language will apply. Other states such as California have encouraged the expansion of insurance products for cannabis.

The ultimate arbiter of the scope of insurance coverage for cannabis is the judicial system. The courts interpret policies, providing guidance to insurers and policyholders alike on the scope and limitations of coverage. Such decisions also prove instrumental in allowing both policyholders and insurers to assess risk and to identify needs going forward. While property and liability policies differ in their insuring clauses, conditions, and exclusions, there is overlap on some issues. Insurers also are likely to draft language that addresses risks unique to the industry for future policies that cross insurance product lines. The following cases highlight several issues peculiar to the cannabis world.

Choice of Law / Insurable Interest / Contraband Exclusion

A consistent theme in both contract law and insurance law is that courts will not enforce contracts that have an illegal object. In this respect, one of the threshold issues insurers and policyholders confront is whether insurance coverage disputes will be governed by state law or federal law. If state law applies in a jurisdiction where the insured's cannabis business was operating legally, an insurance contract will likely be enforceable. However, if federal law applies − or the insured is operating outside the bounds of applicable state law, for example by selling medicinal marijuana for recreational use − the insured may be deemed to be engaged in illegal cultivation or distribution, leaving the contract potentially unenforceable.

In Tracy v. USAA Ins. Co., 2012 WL 928186 (D. Haw. Mar. 16, 2012), an insured engaged in growing marijuana at home in accord with state law, and filed a claim when the marijuana plants were stolen. The insurer argued that if the federal court applied its policy language covering theft of plants to provide coverage for theft of the insured's marijuana plants, it would violate public policy since cannabis is illegal under federal law. The insurer sought summary judgment, asserting the insured did not have an insurable interest in the plants since they were federally prohibited. The court agreed:

The rule under Hawai'i law that courts may decline to enforce a contract that is illegal or contrary to public policy applies where the enforcement of the contract would violate federal law. ... The Court therefore assumes, for purposes of the instant motion, that the "Trees, Shrubs and Other Plants" provision of the Policy covered the loss of Plaintiff's medical marijuana plants. Even in light of that assumption, this Court cannot enforce the provision because Plaintiff's possession and cultivation of marijuana, even for State-authorized medical use, clearly violates federal law. To require Defendant to pay insurance proceeds for the replacement of medical marijuana plants would be contrary to federal law and public policy. ... The Court therefore CONCLUDES that, as a matter of law, Defendant's refusal to pay for Plaintiff's claim for the loss of her medical marijuana plants did not constitute a breach [of] the parties' insurance contract.

In Green Earth Wellness Center, LLC v. Atain Specialty Ins. Co., 163 F. Supp. 3d 821 (D. Colo. 2016), the court reached a different result. There, the insured operated a retail medical marijuana business, which Atain Specialty Insurance Company (Atain) insured through a Commercial Property and General Liability insurance policy. The insured made a claim for smoke and ash damage from a wildfire that impacted the ventilation system of the business and caused damage to the marijuana plants. Id. at 823. The insured's policy included a "contraband" exclusion that barred coverage for "contraband, or property in the course of illegal transportation or trade." Id. at 832. The court declined to apply the exclusion to preclude coverage for damage to the marijuana plants and held "the Policy's 'Contraband' exclusion is rendered ambiguous by the difference between the federal government's de jure and de facto public policies regarding state-regulated medical marijuana." Id. at 833.

Moreover, the court reasoned:

[I]t is undisputed that, before entering into the contract of insurance, Atain knew that Green Earth was operating a medical marijuana business. It is also undisputed that Atain knew—or very well should have known—that federal law nominally prohibited such a business. Notwithstanding that knowledge, Atain nevertheless elected to issue a policy to Green Earth. ... The record suggests that the parties shared a mutual intention that the Policy would insure Green Earths' [sic] marijuana inventory and that the 'Contraband' exclusion would not apply to it." Id. at 833-834.

Finally, the Green Earth court expressly rejected the Hawaii court's rationale in Tracy, observing that since Tracy there has been a "continued erosion of any clear and consistent federal public policy," and further noting that Atain had agreed to insure a marijuana business "of its own will, knowingly and intelligently." Id. at 835.

Criminal Acts Exclusion

In K.V.G. Properties, Inc. v. Westfield Ins. Co., 900 F. 3d 818 (2018), K.V.G Properties sought coverage under a first-party property policy for damage to its physical office space arising from its tenants' cannabis-growing operation. Indeed, the tenants not only had been caught growing marijuana but also had removed walls, cut holes in the roof, and altered ductwork to accommodate their business. Although Westfield denied coverage on multiple grounds, the Sixth Circuit focused its analysis on whether the criminal acts exclusion precluded coverage.

The property at issue was located in Michigan where cultivation of cannabis is a federal crime but is protected in certain circumstances under Michigan law. Westfield argued that its tenants' conduct was criminal irrespective of whether federal law or Michigan law applied and that, consequently, the demand for coverage was precluded under the policy's criminal acts exclusion. The United States District Court in Michigan agreed and dismissed K.V.G. Properties' claim. While recognizing K.V.G. Properties could have a "strong federalism argument" had it been in compliance with Michigan law, the Sixth Circuit agreed that the conduct was outside the bounds of Michigan's marijuana law and affirmed the dismissal.

Accident / Increased Risk Exclusion

In Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. McDermott, 603 Fed. Appx. 374 (6th Cir. 2015), an insured suffered a fire loss that Nationwide learned, after making a $160,209.50 payment, was caused by the insured's butane extraction method in the cultivation of marijuana. Nationwide then denied coverage when it learned that the insured had been "operating an illegal marijuana and THC manufacturing facility in the basement," which caused the fire. Id. at 376. The Nationwide policy provided coverage for accidental fire losses but excluded coverage for any loss "occurring while the hazard [was] increased by a means within the control and knowledge of an insured" and further required that the insured "notify [Nationwide] as soon as possible of any change which may affect the premium risk under [the] policy," including "changes ... in the occupancy or use of the residence premises." Id.

The trial court granted summary judgment on two grounds: first, the court found that the loss did not qualify as an "accident" under the policy because it was the result of a butane extraction process; and second, the court found that a Nationwide policy exclusion for losses that occur while an insured has increased the risk of hazard applied since the insured was using the basement as an illegal marijuana lab, which resulted in an increased hazard without having notified the insurer. The Sixth Circuit did not rule on whether the fire was an "accident" but affirmed the trial court's order granting summary judgment on the basis that the insured's change of use of the property, without notice to the insurer, increased the risk of hazard and was excluded by the policy.

Conversion Exclusion

In Swish v. Manhattan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 675 F. 2d 1218 (11th Cir. 1982), the owner of a small aircraft had leased it to a lessee who attempted to use the plane to smuggle marijuana into the United States from the Bahamas. Law enforcement intervened, but damaged the plane while removing various equipment.

The lease on the plane specifically prohibited the lessee from using the aircraft to carry cargo or engage in illegal activity. The insurance policy at issue included an exclusion for "conversion." The insurer denied the owner's claim for property damage coverage on the basis that the plane had been converted for illegal purposes and the exclusion expressly precluded coverage for conversion, including any "loss or damage during or resulting therefrom." Id. at 1219. The court agreed, finding that the claimed loss occurred during an ongoing conversion when the lessee was using the plane in an illegal manner.

Similarly, the court in National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pa. v. Carib Aviation, 759 F. 2d 873 (11th Cir. 1985) applied the conversion exclusion to preclude coverage where a lessee of an airplane rented it to purportedly fly from Miami to Orlando but instead flew to the Bahamas to transport marijuana. The plane crashed during the flight, and the court held that the plane had been "converted," and coverage was precluded.

"Controlled Substances" Exclusion

Since marijuana is still identified as a Schedule I substance under the CSA, insurers may seek to rely on the "controlled substances" exclusion to bar coverage for liability claims arising out of a marijuana business. A plain reading of the exclusion applies to bar coverage for any loss related to marijuana. However, carriers must be cognizant of the changing impressions when it comes to cannabis and the protections naturally provided to the insureds.

The Insurance Services Office homeowner's form includes the following "controlled substances" exclusion:

"Bodily injury" or "property damage" arising out of the use, sale, manufacture, delivery, transfer or possession by any person of a Controlled Substance as defined by the Federal Food and Drug Law at 21 U.S.C.A. Sections 811 and 812. Controlled Substances include but are not limited to cocaine, LSD, marijuana and all narcotic drugs. However, this exclusion does not apply to the legitimate use of prescription drugs by a person following the lawful orders of a licensed health care professional.

The court in Prudential Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Brenner, 350 N.J. Super. 316 (2002) was asked to interpret a similarly worded exclusion in a homeowner's policy arising from the involvement of the homeowner's son in the attempted theft of marijuana that left a drug dealer dead. The boy admitted participation in the theft but denied any plan involving murder. The insurer denied coverage based on the controlled substance exclusion. The court agreed with the insurer. While the court acknowledged that the homeowner's son was in the drug dealer's home only to steal marijuana and that the drug dealer's death was connected to an "ill-conceived plan" that went "wildly and sadly awry," the court held that the "language employed unmistakably encompasses more than the completed act of manufacture, use or transfer of a controlled danger substance" and precluded coverage. Id. at 323.

In contrast, the appellate court in Keckler v. Meridian Sec. Ins. Co., 967 N.E. 2d 18 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012) reversed a trial court's application of the controlled substances exclusion in circumstances where a teenager involved in an automobile accident was observed to have "glassy eyes" and had a bag of marijuana in the car. While the trial court applied the exclusion to preclude coverage, the court of appeal reversed, finding that there was no evidence that the teen had used marijuana. The appellate court rejected the insurer's argument that public policy favored application of the exclusion since drug possession laws were violated, reasoning that Indiana does not apply a public policy exception to overcome coverage provided under the relevant policy. The court elaborated that, even if the law endorsed the insurer's public policy argument, it would be an extraordinary result for the court to deny coverage for "bad behavior" that had nothing to do with the accident. Id. at 26.

Reasonable Expectations / Growing Plants

Insurers generally do not extend coverage to growing plants, although there are exceptions. As is pertinent to a broader liability coverage examination, in Green Earth, supra, the insured argued that the policy should cover the loss of its growing plants, because the insured sought to insure its plants through the purchase of business insurance. Id. at 830. The insured relied on the reasonable expectations doctrine to argue that the court should "honor the reasonable expectations of an insured where circumstances attributable to an insurer have deceived a [sic] objectively reasonable insured into believing that it is entitled to coverage for a certain loss." Id. at 831, citing Bailey v. Lincoln Gen. Ins. Co., 255 P.3d 1039, 1053 (Colo. 2011). The court rejected application of the doctrine as it was not sufficient to merely claim an expectation of coverage. Rather, the court determined there must be some showing that the expectations are reasonable. Green Earth, supra, at 831, citing Bailey, supra, at 1054. The court specifically noted that, "the extrinsic evidence in the record indicates that Atain repeatedly, plainly, and conspicuously advised Green Earth that growing plants would not be covered, and there is no evidence that Green Earth ever objected." Green Earth, supra, at 831.

In Huynh v. Safeco Ins. Co., 2012 WL 5893482, at 1 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 23, 2012), a property owner's tenant operated an illegal marijuana grow house that damaged the building. The court held that an "illegal growing of plants" exclusion precluded coverage for the landlord's claim. Although California had legalized marijuana for medical purposes at the time, the tenant's grow house was illegal. Consequently, the court evaluated coverage on the premise that the tenant's operation was illegal under both state and federal law. The conclusion may have been different − and certainly would have prompted more discussion − had recreational marijuana been legal in California as it is today.

Growing Crops

It also is worth noting that growing crops presents a risk management issue pertinent to the marijuana business. The federal crop insurance program, which frequently is involved in either the underwriting or reinsurance of crop insurance in the United States, does not cover cannabis. The consequence of this policy is that surplus lines insurers will have difficulty underwriting crop loss since they will not have access to the federal crop insurance program. To the extent surplus lines may be willing to extend crop loss coverage, it is likely to be for smaller exposures, and premium pricing is likely to be increasingly prohibitive as exposures increase. Whether legalization of cannabis at the federal level would open access to the federal crop insurance program remains to be seen, but would be a logical step.

Vandalism Coverage / Mold Exclusio n

In Bowers v. Farmers Ins. Exchange, 991 P. 2d 734 (Wash. App. 2000), an insured property owner sought coverage for damages arising from mold growth that occurred after its tenant converted the property to a marijuana grow house. The court was asked to determine whether coverage under the vandalism coverage applied and whether the mold exclusion precluded coverage. The insurer argued that the tenant's alteration of the home was not vandalism but an intentional act. The court read coverage broadly and rejected this argument, holding that the tenant's disregard for the integrity of the property constituted vandalism. The court further found that the mold growth was secondary to the vandalism. See also, Kochendorfer v. Metropolitan Prop. & Cas. Co., No. 2:11-cv-01162 (W.D. Wash. 2012) (court granted insured property owner motion for summary judgment, finding that damages from marijuana grow operation arose from tenant vandalism, not the marijuana grow operation).

The "Pollution" Exclusion

It is an inevitable fact that some cannabis businesses will be sued for nuisance or pollutant reasons. The production and harvesting of marijuana plants necessarily involve smells and production materials, which may be found to be offensive to neighboring businesses or residences. The nature of the business, coupled with the "drug" component, already causes highly publicized pushback from neighbors trying to avoid such businesses in the same vicinity, which could include pollutant claims such as smoke, dust, chemicals, and pesticides. Carriers will then have the burden of establishing whether a "pollution exclusion" applies. Under standard CGL policies, a pollution exclusion applies for liability arising out of the dispersal of pollutants. The issue will be whether any claims against a cannabis business will include claims of exposure to anything that constitutes a "pollutant" under policy language and applicable law.

In MacKinnon v. Truck Ins. Exch., 31 Cal. 4th 635, 652 (2003), the California Supreme Court held that a pollution exclusion for bodily injury "resulting from the actual, alleged, or threatened discharge, dispersal, release or escape of pollutants" applies only to traditional environmental pollution. The California court followed a Colorado decision in holding that "while a reasonable person of ordinary intelligence might well understand carbon monoxide is a pollutant when it is emitted in an industrial or environmental setting, an ordinary policyholder would not reasonably characterize carbon monoxide emitted from a residential heater which malfunctioned as 'pollution.' It seems far more reasonable that a policyholder would understand it as being limited to irritants and contaminants commonly thought of as pollution and not as applying to every possible irritant or contaminant imaginable." Id. at 652-653, quoting Regional Bank of Colo. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 35 F.3d 494, 498 (10th Cir. 1994).

On the other hand, in Deni Assocs. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Ins. Co., 711 So.2d 1135, 1138-1139 (Fla. 1998), in examining a pollution exclusion for "any personal injury or property damage 'arising out of the actual, alleged or threatened discharge, dispersal, release or escape of' ... any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal irritant or contaminant, including smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalines, chemicals and waste," the Florida Supreme Court stated, "we cannot accept the conclusion reached by certain courts that because of its ambiguity the pollution exclusion clause only excludes environmental or industrial pollution."

To date, there is no national published opinion on whether contaminants, smoke, chemicals, or other irritants used in marijuana cultivation or operations qualifies as a pollutant for application of this exclusion. "Whether marijuana smells qualify as pollutants probably depends on their intensity, range, duration, and location. The occasional waft from a dispensary in a commercial district may not be a pollutant, while a wide-ranging, intense stench in a residential neighborhood may be." Gottlieb, Lawrence & Matt Munson, Insurance Issues Raised by the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana; Vol. 46, No. 1, Am. Bar Ass'n: The Brief, p. 34, Fall 2016. There is simply insufficient information about the court's interpretation of cannabis as a pollutant to provide any guidance on how courts will interpret application of this exclusion.

Law Enforcement Raids

An individual or entity in the cannabis business runs the risk of being raided by law enforcement officials and having their plants or inventory seized. As a general rule, an entity cannot insure against losses suffered during a government raid premised on illegal drug activity. However, at least one insurer is offering an insurance product that provides such protection for state raids in circumstances where the insured is in compliance with state law. Presumably, if federal law legalizes marijuana or recognizes the ability of states to legalize and regulate the cultivation and distribution of marijuana, similar coverage for federal raids will follow.

Summary

The foregoing discussion is by no means exhaustive of the issues likely to confront the insurability of the cannabis industry. Other policy provisions that currently exist are likely to become subjects for coverage consideration. In this respect, be aware of insurance policy language that excludes coverage for property in the course of illegal transportation or trade, limited coverage or sub-limits for outdoor plants, exclusions for employee dishonesty, and limitations or exclusions in homeowners' policies for losses arising from a home business. These are likely to be issues in the evolution of cannabis insurance coverage law.

Originally published by Insurance Advocate

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions