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The court panel does not centralize COVID-19 suits



The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Disputes on Wednesday refused to consolidate COVID-19 business interruption litigation filed by companies against all insurance companies, but is considering centralizing litigation filed against individual insurance companies.

The panel said in its decision that centralizing all litigation would not work due to differences between policies, among other factors, but it may be possible to combine disputes against individual insurance companies, according to the decision In re: COVID-19 business Interruption Protection Litigation. [19659002] Many companies have sued insurance companies claiming that they are entitled to business loss losses as a result of the COVID-1

9 pandemic.

The Washington-based panel, created in 1968, decides whether civil actions pending in different federal districts involve common issues that should be referred to a federal court and judges to avoid duplication, re-establish inconsistent decisions and conserve resources, according to its website.

It is composed of seven sitting federal judges appointed by the head of the Ministry of Justice, and no two panel members may be from the same constituency.

The decision stated that there were two proposals for the centralization of the proceedings: one submitted by the plaintiff in two eastern districts of Pennsylvania measures aimed at centralizing 11 documents in the district and one second aiming at centralizing 15 documents, including the 11 in the first movement and another five, in the Northern District of Illinois.

The plaintiff in more than 175 documents or related documents has responded to the proposal, according to the decision, with many supporting centralization in either Illinois or Pennsylvania and others proposing courts in California, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey and Washington as potential transfer districts for this dispute, according to the decision.

The plaintiff in more than 30 actions has also proposed centralization of in-depth disputes over state, regional or insurers under the decision.

A total of 32 insurers or insurance groups designated as respondents responded to the proposal. "Unlike the appellant, the respondents oppose uniform centralization," the decision said.

"The industry-wide centralization that movers demand will not serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses or promote the fair and effective conduct of this dispute," crucial states.

Centralization advocates identify three common basic questions: whether the government's closure order triggers coverage; what constitutes "physical loss or damage" to property; and whether any exceptions, especially those related to viruses, are applicable, "the decision said.

" However, these issues have only a superficial commonality. There is no common answer in these documents – there are certainly no real multi-customs cases, as the measures do not involve a single insurer or an insurance group ( ie related insurance companies operating under the same umbrella or sharing owner interests). Thus, there is little potential for joint disco actors disputes.

“In addition, these cases involve different insurances with different coverages, conditions, exceptions and policy language, purchased by different companies in different industries in different styles. These differences will outweigh any common factual issues, ”the decision said. "In addition, the proposed MDL raises significant problems for management and efficiency.

However, the decision adds that" In contrast, the arguments for insurance – specific MDLs are more convincing. "Such an MDL would be limited to a single insurer or group of related insurance companies and would therefore not cause management problems for an industry that includes more than one hundred insurance companies," it said. "The measures are more likely to involve insurers using the same language, approvals and exemptions."

However, the decision adds that "we will not attempt to create an insurance-specific MDL on the current record." It targets four insurance companies or groups of related insurance companies, Lloyd & # 39 ;s of London Insurance Companies, Cincinnati Insurance Co., units of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based Society Insurance Co., to show the cause. why the measures should not be centralized.

Leading lawyers in the case had no comment or could not be reached.

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


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