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Panel consolidates some COVID-19 business outages



The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Disputes on Friday agreed to consolidate business interruption disputes filed by companies against a Wisconsin insurance company, but refused to do so against several other insurance companies, saying it would be ineffective. the panel's decision in august, which stated that centralization of all COVID-19 interruption disputes would not work due to differences between policies, among others, but that it might be possible to combine ligation with individual insurance companies.

MDL stated in its decision of the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based Society Insurance Co., I re: Society Insurance Co. COVID-19 Business Interruption Protection Insurance Litigation, that centralization of disputes “will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and further the fair and effective conduct of this dispute. "Society has filed 34 lawsuits against it, 22 of which are pending before the U.S. District Court in Chicago.

MDL noted that the Society is a regional insurance company operating in six states ̵

1; Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin and that the lawsuits filed against it " shares common factual allegations. "

The consolidated dispute was transferred to Judge Edmond E. Chang of the U.S. District Court in Chicago.

In separate decisions, however, the MDL decided to consolidate disputes against Cincinnati Insurance Co., Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., certain insurers at Lloyd & # 39 ;s and Travelers Cos., Citing efficiency.

In its decision in In Re: Cincinnati Insurance Company COVID-19 Business Interruption Protection Insurance Disputes for example, the MDL said the insurer has sued them in 29 different federal districts in 19 states, and it would take a "Not insignificant time to organize "to resolve disputes.

Hartford said in a statement, " We are pleased that the panel chose not to consolidate The Hartford's Covid-19 business breakdown issues. We remain confident in our contract language and will continue to defend our position vigorously. viruses are generally outside the scope of business interruption coverage. These policies do not cover this exposure and consequently no premiums were collected for it. "

Travelers said in a statement," We are pleased with the panel's decision and look forward to resolving these cases. " [19659002] Cincinnati said in a statement, "We agree with the panel's decision to centralize these matters in a company-specific MDL. We look forward to working with the courts where these cases originate.

A Lloyds lawyer had no comment, while the community did not respond to a request for comment.

More insurance and risk management news about the coronavirus crisis here . Catalog [19659002]

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