As we reported in a prior blog, on August 14, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation rejected plaintiffs’ request for a consolidation of all COVID-19 insurance coverage federal litigation, agreeing to consider mini-MDLs as respects five specific insurers, which accounted for roughly one-third of the federal cases. On October 2, the Panel rejected the
In a decision that will influence how policyholders and insurers around the world address business-interruption coverage for COVID-19 losses, the English High Court recently handed down its much-anticipated judgment in the “Test Case,” The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) v. Arch et al. The High Court’s comprehensive analysis will likely serve as an additional tool in policyholders’ arsenal in the ongoing battles over COVID-19 coverage.
Continue Reading English High Court Finds That Business-Interruption Insurance Can Cover COVID-19 Losses
Earlier this year, lawyers for plaintiffs applied to the MDL Panel for consolidation of all COVID-19 business interruption cases in federal courts throughout the country. On August 12, the Panel rejected plaintiffs’ requests for a single consolidation but requested briefing on the possibility of mini-MDLS as respects five of the insurers that accounted for approximately one third of these cases: Lloyds (26 actions), Cincinnati (70 actions), Hartford (130 actions), Society Insurance (24 actions) and Travelers (45 actions). On Thursday, September 24, the Panel held a nearly three-hour hearing.
Continue Reading MDL Panel Considers Mini-MDLs For COVID-19 Insurance Cases
On Tuesday, the English High Court will issue its much-anticipated ruling in “test cases” for coverage of business-interruption losses during the COVID-19 pandemic under sample policy wordings. Irrespective of the outcome, the London court’s ruling promises to be a significant development for the insurance markets in the UK, as billions of pounds in potential insurance claims are at stake and––beyond this––policyholders and/or insurance companies can be expected to argue that one or another of the findings supports their position(s) for interpreting similar policy language in future COVID-19 business-interruption coverage cases.
The FCA Test Case
In the first action of its kind since the agency was established in 2013, the British markets regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), engineered the test case process earlier this year to seek legal clarity over insurance companies’ obligations to cover business-interruption claims in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Brought before the English High Court (a trial level court in the UK), the FCA test case involves around 370,000 policyholders and eight insurance companies. The case was heard by Judge Christopher Butcher, who sits in the Commercial Court, and Judge Julian Flaux from the Court of Appeal. Experienced English counsel prepared and presented arguments to the tribunal for expedited consideration and resolution. The FCA hired a solicitor firm, which instructed well-regarded barristers from Devereux Chambers and Fountain Court Chambers; the insurers engaged their own solicitors and barristers.
On August 28, Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the Central District of California, entered the latest ruling in the ongoing saga of the COVID-19 business interruption coverage dispute between celebrity plaintiff’s attorney Mark Geragos and Insurer Travelers.
Continue Reading Despite Misapplying California Law, Federal Court Acknowledges Virus May Cause Physical Alteration to Property
We previously reported on the July 30 argument before the MDL Panel regarding plaintiffs’ motion to consolidate more than 275 COVID-19 Business Interruption cases.
Continue Reading MDL Panel Denies Nationwide Consolidation of COVID-19 Business Interruption Coverage Cases
On July 30, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation held a Zoom hearing on a motion filed by plaintiffs’ lawyers to consolidate hundreds of business interruption claims filed across the country. The Panel permitted a number of plaintiffs’ counsel and two insurers’ counsel to each argue for 3 uninterrupted minutes and then respond to questions.
Continue Reading MDL Panel Considers Consolidation of COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims
On June 29, in a development that may fundamentally change the landscape for California businesses which have sustained COVID-19 related business interruption loss, two California legislators amended pending legislation to address several of the most hotly contested issues regarding insurance recovery for these devastating losses.
Continue Reading It’s a COVID-19 Pandemic; It’s Everywhere – New Cal. Bill to Make Insurers Prove Otherwise
On May 26, 2020, a California Court of Appeals (4th District) issued its decision in Mosley et al. v. Pacific Specialty Ins. Co. The case arose in the context of a marijuana-growing tenant who rerouted a home’s electrical system and caused an electrical fire. The issue was whether the homeowner’s policy covered the loss. The trial court granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment and, in a divided decision, the Court of Appeals reversed in part.
Continue Reading California Appellate Court Holds “Minimal Causal Connection” Satisfies Causation Requirement in All Risk Policies