The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Tuesday agreed to consolidate 13 COVID-19 related business interruption disputes spread across five U.S. court districts filed against units of the Erie Insurance Group in Pittsburgh.
The MDL decision follows the panel's agreement in October to consolidate business interruption litigation filed by companies against Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based Society Insurance Co., although they also refused to do so against several other insurance companies, saying it would be ineffective. .
In August, the panel said that centralization of all COVID-19 business interruption disputes would not work due to differences in policy, among other things, but that it is possible to combine disputes against individual insurance companies.
In its most recent decision, the panel of seven members in I Re: Erie Covid-1
Considering that the cases would be consolidated in Pittsburgh, the panel said that centralizing the trials "will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and further justice and effectiveness.
" business break insurance, ”the decision said.
"As with the social dispute, we find that centralization offers the most effective way to dissolution," it said.
"Erie argues that centralization is not appropriate because the measures involve different claims and different types of business. However, the existence of additional or different legal theories is not significant when the documents originate from a common factual core. "
" The Western District of Pennsylvania is the clear focus of this dispute, as the defendants have their headquarters there and a large number of actions await there, "it said.
Erie Insurance Group did not respond to a request for comment. The complainant's lawyers contacted had no comment or did not respond to a request for comment.