California Business Interruption COVID-19 Coverage Bill: A New Twist to Proposed State Legislation

By: Edward M. Koch and Felix S. Yelin On July 2, 2020, an amended California Assembly Bill 1552 (Bill 1522 or the bill), which relates to commercial business interruption coverage of insured businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, was referred to the California Senate Insurance Committee. Unlike other bills that various state legislatures are considering,…

PA Supreme Court Denies “King’s Bench” Petition to Consolidate All COVID-19 Business Interruption Cases Pending in State Court

By: Sean P. Mahoney and Ciaran B. Way On May 14, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied a Pittsburgh-based restaurant’s Emergency Application asking it to exercise its statutory and “King’s Bench” powers and assume plenary jurisdiction over the restaurant’s pending COVID-19 business interruption lawsuit filed against Erie Insurance Exchange and all similar COVID-19 business interruption…

Pa. Ruling Doesn’t Support COVID-19 Biz Interruption Claims

By: Anthony L. Miscioscia and Timothy A. Carroll “These are, safe to say, uncertain times,” Siobhan Roberts, a science journalist, recently wrote for the New York Times, referencing the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet, while the times may be uncertain, what the pandemic has not fundamentally altered are certain well-established legal standards governing first-party claims for…

Second Circuit Says Cedent Cannot Use the “Follow-the-Settlements” Doctrine to Circumvent Plain, Unambiguous Policy Provision

By: Michael S. Olsan and Zachery B. Roth In Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, reversing a jury verdict in the District Court, held that the “follow-the-settlements” doctrine does not bind a reinsurer to settlement decisions that are inconsistent with the plain, unambiguous…

Shuttered Businesses Seek National Consolidation of COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims

By: Sean P. Mahoney, Michael O. Kassak and Eric B. Hermanson On April 20, 2020, two Philadelphia restaurants filed a petition with the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (the Panel or JPMDL), seeking to transfer and consolidate all COVID-19 business interruption insurance cases in federal court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District…