Earlier today, the Panel for Multi-District Litigation issued an Order denying consolidation of hundreds business interruption coverage lawsuits related to COVID-19.
The Panel held that the allegedly common issues supporting consolidation, “share only a superficial commonality.” The Panel further held that there would be little potential for common discovery and that because each case will involve, “different coverages, conditions, exclusions, and policy provisions purchased by different businesses in different industries located in different states,” the differences in analyzing coverage will overwhelm any common issues.
The Panel held that consolidation would present serious managerial and efficiency concerns that make consolidation inappropriate for these claims.
COVID-19 Related Business Interruption in District Courts
As a result of this ruling, nearly all of the COVID-19 related business interruption lawsuits filed through the United States will remain in the District Courts where each case originated.
The exception may be for a limited number of insurers. The Panel has asked for additional briefing as to whether insurer-specific MDL’s might be appropriate for Lloyd’s, Cincinnati Ins. Co., the Hartford insurers, and Society Insurance.
Lether Law Group represented The Dentists Insurance Company in opposing MDL treatment for these matters. We are pleased that we were able to obtain this result. If you have any questions or if we can be of assistance on any COVID-19 related matters, including class actions, please feel free to contact us at any time.