No Global MDL for COVID Business Interruption Claims, but Panel Will Consider Separate Consolidated Proceedings for Lloyds, Cincinnati, Hartford, Society

Businesswoman sitting in front of panel

The next hearing is on September 24, 2020.

August 24, 2020
Eric B. Hermanson & Konrad R. Krebs - White and Williams

In a widely anticipated ruling, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has denied two motions to centralize pretrial proceedings in hundreds of federal cases seeking coverage for business interruption losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Panel has ordered expedited briefing on whether four separate consolidated proceedings should be set up for four insurers – Cincinnati, Society, Hartford, and Lloyds – who appear to be named in the largest number of claims.

In seeking a single, industry-wide MDL proceeding, some plaintiffs had argued that common questions predominated across the hundreds of pending federal suits: namely, [1] the question of what constituted ‘physical loss or damage’ to property, under the allegedly standardized terms of various insurers’ policies; [2] the question whether various government closure orders should trigger coverage under those policies, and [3] the question whether any exclusions, particularly virus exclusions, applied.

Reprinted courtesy of Eric B. Hermanson, White and Williams and Konrad R. Krebs, White and Williams
Mr. Hermanson may be contacted at hermansone@whiteandwilliams.com
Mr. Krebs may be contacted at krebsk@whiteandwilliams.com



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