Registration is now open for HarrisMartin’s webinar “COVID-19 Business Insurance Coverage Litigation — The Latest Developments,” scheduled for Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. EDT. The webinar will touch on the latest developments in the growing field of business interruption coverage litigation and will provide an update on the prospect of insurer-specific MDL dockets just one day after the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) hearing. This is a CLE-accredited event.
The webinar is chaired by Richard Golomb of Golumb & Honik, PC, and features Kenneth J. Grunfield of Golumb & Honik PC; Frederick S. Longer and Lawrence S. Berman of Levin Sedran & Berman; and W. Daniel “Dee” Miles II of Beasley Allen Law Firm. Dee is head of our Firm’s Consumer Fraud Section.
Businesses across the country are grappling to understand the full economic impact of mandated closures and restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19. One of the biggest issues gaining ground is whether business interruption insurance covers lost income for businesses that suffered losses during the shutdowns.
In rulings in Michigan and Washington, D.C., insurers successfully argued that since businesses suffered no physical damages, they were not entitled to business interruption coverage. But on Aug. 12, Western District of Missouri Judge Stephen R. Bough saw things differently when he refused to dismiss a similar lawsuit. He found that restaurants had suffered “direct physical loss” when coronavirus particles landed on their property, damaging it and rendering it unsafe for consumers.
Also on Aug. 12, the JPML said it would not centralize hundreds of business interruption insurance lawsuits because the cases shared “only a superficial commonality.” But the panel did indicate that it may entertain creating smaller MDLs for certain insurance companies, namely The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Cincinnati Insurance Co., Lloyds of London, and Society Insurance Co.
The JPML will consider arguments regarding these insurer-specific MDLs at its next hearing scheduled for Sept. 24, the day before the webinar.
Beasley Allen lawyers are actively investigating and filing claims against various insurance companies for denial of business interruption coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are involved in advocating for consolidation of these actions in multidistrict litigation (MDL). Dee Miles, head of our Consumer Fraud & Commercial Litigation Section, Rachel Boyd, and Paul Evans, lawyers in the Section, are spearheading this litigation for our firm and are monitoring all MDL developments as they arise.