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MDL Panel Denies Consolidation of COVID-19 Insurance Cases for All Insurers (with one Exception)



As we reported in an earlier blog, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation rejected the complainant's request for a consolidation of all COVID-19 insurance coverage federal disputes, and agreed to consider mini-MDL in relation to five specific insurance companies responsible for approximately one-third of federal cases. On 2 October, the panel rejected the concept of mini-MDL with regard to four of these five insurance companies and accepted an MDL for the fifth insurer.

The panel initially agreed with the complainants that each of the proposed mini-MDLs was presented. common legal and factual questions about the preparation and interpretation of each insurer's insurance form. However, the panel eventually concluded that consolidation would not be the most effective measure for federal lawsuits against The Hartford, Travelers, Cincinnati Insurance Co. and Lloyd & # 39; s of London. As explained, since COVID-1

9 and the resulting closures by the government have put many policyholders on the verge of bankruptcy, efficiency needed to be the primary goal of the litigation. The time it would take an employment tribunal to organize a centralized measure to comply with the laws of a number of states would undermine this goal, especially when dispositive movements dealing with issues of political interpretation are already informed and ongoing. Lloyd's costumes faced the additional obstacle to efficiency for several syndicates with several policy forms, which put a single, discreet question of policy interpretation out of reach.

However, the Panel considered it appropriate to centralize over 30 lawsuits against the Society Insurance Co. insurance companies are facing. The panel left the door open for further efficiency measures in the societal case, such as establishing "state-specific tracks" or choosing already oriented movements such as "bellwether movements" to decide issues on the threshold policy. The panel transferred the social costs to Judge Edmond E. Chang in the Northern District of Illinois, who has already dealt with a number of these cases.

The Panel Court ends the COVID-19 MDL case for at least five insurance companies. and their policyholders, as the measures will be taken separately in courts across the country. To the extent that other federal courts delayed the proceedings pending the panel's decision, these measures should also be resumed.


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