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Insurers’ COVID-19 Notepad: What You Need to Know Now (Week of August 17) – Lexology


JPML Denies Motions to Centralize COVID-19 Business Interruption Cases; Leaves Open Question of Single-Insurer MDLs

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied two motions to centralize 278 COVID-19 business interruption cases against more than 100 insurers pending in 48 district courts. The Panel reasoned that industry-wide centralization “will not serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses or further the just and efficient conduct of this litigation,” and noted that the purportedly common questions advanced by plaintiffs “share only a superficial commonality.” Because there is no common defendant in the actions, the Panel noted there “is little potential for common discovery across the litigation,” and added that “these cases involve different insurance policies with different coverages, conditions, exclusions, and policy language, purchased by different businesses in different industries located in different states. These differences will overwhelm any common factual questions.” The Panel also declined requests to create regional and state-based MDLs, noting they would suffer from many of the same problems. However, the Panel requested…

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