Burr & Forman

10.27.2016   |   Articles / Publications

McNair Establishes Hurricane Matthew Legal Assistance Team

Hurricane Matthew hit South Carolina’s coast on October 8. It was the first Category 5 Atlantic hurricane since 2007, and, when Matthew struck the southeastern United States, its storm surge, wind, and rainfall inflicted major damage. In response, McNair has organized a Hurricane Matthew Legal Assistance Team – a group of professionals from across practices and offices designed to meet the needs of clients impacted by the storm. McNair has more coastal offices than any other major law firm in South Carolina, and many of our lawyers have dealt with disaster and recovery issues firsthand.

We are advising clients in several areas of law, including:

Real Estate

Coastal property owners may need to evaluate the vulnerability of waterfront areas and consider upgrades to make their properties more resilient to severe weather. Federal, state, and local governments provide disaster relief packages to help in this effort. Additionally, property owners associations should review governing documents to confirm the division of responsibilities between the association and members, and determine whether defects are the cause of premature deterioration.

Finance

Lenders have seen an influx of borrower requests in the wake of the storm. Many associations seek financing and lines of credit to pay for debris removal and restoration. Some communities had existing emergency lines of credit, while others did not. Associations should seek counsel on preparing loan documents for emergency lines of credit and drafting security documents based on assessments, rather than mortgages.

Insurance Coverage

As insurance claims begin, property owners may find themselves disputing the amount of coverage they had or the amount of damages the provider is willing to pay. To ensure adequate coverage for liabilities and losses, policyholders should seek counsel on policy wordings and advice on claims dispute resolution.

Environmental

As the cleanup continues, environmental issues arise. Hundreds of private and community docks and dock facilities were destroyed. As owners consider rebuilding and repairing beyond original scopes, new permits are necessary, and attorneys can assist in dealing with local, state, and federal agencies. Additionally, industrial operators must evaluate whether the storm caused a release of containments, such as petroleum leaks from gas station tanks due to flooding.

Employment

Employers may face a myriad of questions from employees, whether in relation to the office or facility closing during the storm, employee safety during recovery, or time off needed due to the personal impact they faced.

The McNair team is positioned to call upon the depth of professionals at the firm to handle the issues the storm has manifested. If you find yourself in need of assistance, please contact one of the team members noted below.

Melissa L. Azallion
Hilton Head Island
Employment
mazallion@mcnair.net
843.341.4925

Sarah F. Robertson
Bluffton
Real Estate
srobertson@mcnair.net
843.815.0619

Amanda A. Bailey
Myrtle Beach
Litigation, HOA/POA Matters
abailey@mcnair.net
843.443.3031

Michael A. Scardato
Charleston
Litigation, Insurance Claims
mscardato@mcnair.net
843.973.6851

R. Nicholas Felix
Bluffton
Litigation, Insurance Claims
nfelix@mcnair.net
843.815.0620

Alicia E. Thompson
Myrtle Beach
Litigation, HOA/POA Matters
athompson@mcnair.net
843.443.3058

Cary S. Griffin
Hilton Head Island
Real Estate, Finance
cgriffin@mcnair.net
843.341.4915

Benjamin E. Nicholson V
Columbia
Litigation, Insurance Claims
nnicholson@mcnair.net
803.753.3243

Walter J. Nester III
Hilton Head Island
Real Estate, Finance, HOA/POA Matters
wnester@mcnair.net
843.341.4922

Stacy K. Taylor
Columbia
Environmental
staylor@mcnair.net
803.753.3267