April 22, 2020
We’ve seen the number of cases brought against insurers regarding business interruption coverage increase rapidly in the last several weeks. More recently, we’ve started to see class actions brought in federal courts – typically, these plaintiffs seek to bring claims on behalf of a nationwide class against a single insurer. Now, a pair of Philadelphia-based restaurants are seeking to establish a Multi-District Litigation proceeding to resolve all cases regarding insurance coverage for COVID-19 losses. Their motion, filed with the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation, argues that the issue of whether business interruption insurance policies will cover losses incurred by businesses forced to close as a result of stay-at-home orders is one that should be addressed in a uniform manner across the country. They propose consolidating all federal actions on this issue, regardless of the insurer or specific policy language, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. We will monitor these developments to see whether courts are receptive to resolving these issues on a mass scale.