SAN ANTONIO — A magistrate on Oct. 7 issued a report recommending that a Texas federal court grant a dental office insured’s motion to remand its coronavirus coverage lawsuit to Texas court, finding that the insured has properly stated a claim against one of the defendants for her conduct as an individual insurance adjuster (Louis G. Orsatti, DDS, P.C v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al., No. 20-00840, W.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185935).
DALLAS — A federal judge in Texas on Oct. 7 granted an “all risk” commercial property insurer’s motion to dismiss its restaurant insured’s lawsuit seeking business interruption coverage for its losses arising from the novel coronavirus, allowing the insured to replead (Vandelay Hospitality Group LP v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, et al., No. 20-01348, N.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185581).
MIAMI — A theater operator voluntarily dismissed a French reinsurance company on Oct. 5 from its proposed class action in a Florida federal court for pandemic loss more than a month after the reinsurer sought dismissal on the basis that it was not a party to the all-risk insurance policy at issue (Actors Playhouse Productions, Inc. v. SCOR SE, et al., No. 20-22981, S.D. Fla.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware insureds on Sept. 22 asked the state's highest court to reverse a lower court's ruling that granted a homeowners insurer's motion for summary judgment, arguing that coverage exists for a pedestrian bridge and wall that was damaged during a rainstorm (Eric Monzo, et al. v. Nationwide Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 199,2020, Del. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Oct. 2 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss a restaurant's coronavirus coverage lawsuit, finding that the insured failed to plausibly assert that it incurred a "physical loss of or damage to" its restaurant and that the policy's virus exclusion further bars all coverage (Mark's Engine Company No. 28 Restaurant, LLC v. The Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, et al., No. 20-04423, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Oct. 2 created only one insurer-specific multidistrict litigation to centralize lawsuits seeking business interruption coverage for losses arising from governmental closure orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and refused to create specific MDLs against four other insurers (In re: Society Insurance Company COVID-19 Business Interruption Protection Insurance Litigation, No. 2964, JPMDL).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Oct. 2 granted parties' request for the creation of defendant-specific MDLs against two insurers in lawsuits seeking coverage for passes for ski resorts that were prematurely closed due to the novel coronavirus, finding that the suits "involve common questions of fact" and that centralization against one insurer in the U.S. Western District of Missouri and the other insurer in the U.S. Northern District of California "will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation" (In Re: National Ski Pass Insurance Litigation, No. 2955, JPMDL).
SAN FRANCISCO — The franchisee of Outback Steakhouse restaurants in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and California and its parent and affiliated companies on Sept. 29 sued an insurer in a California federal court, alleging that an all-risk insurance policy unambiguously provides coverage for its "direct and/or imminent physical loss" and property damage related to the novel coronavirus (Out West Restaurant Group Inc., et al. v. Affiliated FM Insurance Company, No. 20-06786, N.D. Calif.).
BOSTON — A federal chief judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 30 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment as to an insured's breach of contract claim in a lawsuit seeking coverage for its lost energy-generating income during a mandated shutdown of its solar panels but granted the insurer's motion as to the bad faith and unfair business practices claims (NextSun Energy Littleton, LLC v. Acadia Insurance Company, No. 18-11180, D. Mass., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179965).
CHICAGO — An Illinois panel on Sept. 30 found that a lower court should have denied an all-risk insurer's motion for a directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) in the insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for property loss to the floor of one of its freezer rooms, reversing and remanding for the lower court to reinstate a $544,366 jury verdict in favor of the insured (4220 Kildare, LLC v. Regent Insurance Company, No. 1-18-1840, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 3rd Div., 2020 Ill. App. LEXIS 683).
LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Sept. 30 reversed an insured's attorney fees award because a lower court's application of the confession of judgment doctrine ignored the limitations on Florida Insurance Guaranty Association's (FIGA) obligations for the insured's pursuit of a sinkhole claim not covered by a policy (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association v. Yanicet Reyes, No. 2D19-2173, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 13696).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 29 held that an insured has not been made whole for the actual cash value of her roundtrip flight to Miami from where her cruise was scheduled to depart before it was canceled due to the novel coronavirus, partially denying a travel insurer's motion to dismiss her putative class action lawsuit in finding that the policy "requires full reimbursement in the event of a trip cancellation occasioned by illness or quarantine, either of which plausibly applies" (Christine V. Dowding v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, No. 20-4118, N.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179207).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 16 granted a motion by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to dismiss Ocean County insureds' breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking to enforce a $56,000 settlement agreement over Superstorm Sandy property damage, finding that the federal court lacks jurisdiction because FEMA is immune from the lawsuit (Joseph Flammia, et al. v. National Flood Insurance Program, No. 18-13474, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170471).
LOS ANGELES — A motion picture production company on Sept. 9 filed suit in a California federal court alleging that its insurer refused to extend its “film producers risk” insurance policy when the production of the movie “Hypnotic” starring Ben Affleck was delayed by risks associated with the novel coronavirus pandemic and instead indicated that the policy would be “renewed” with the addition of an exclusion for losses relating to the coronavirus (Hoosegow [Hypnotic] Productions Inc. v. Chubb National Insurance Company, No. 20-08253, C.D. Calif.).
PITTSBURGH — A business insurer on Sept. 25 filed a supplemental and amended notice of appeal in a Pennsylvania federal court indicating that it will ask the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's remand of a restaurant insured's coverage lawsuit seeking recovery of its damages caused by the coronavirus and governmental closure orders after it attempted three times to remove the lawsuit to federal court (DiAnoia's Eatery LLC v. Motorists Mutual Insurance Co., No. 20-787, W.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 28 that a 2010 settlement between a captive insurer, its insured and 124 workers who helped clean up a New York high school following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks reduced the workers' potential recovery in their present New York labor law lawsuit to zero, affirming a lower federal court's dismissal of their action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (In re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation, No. 19-2934, 2nd Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Sept. 22 dismissed a waxing salon's lawsuit seeking coverage for its economic losses caused by the state's closure orders to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, allowing the insured to amend all but two of their claims because of "the rapidly evolving legal landscape involving COVID-19 business interruption coverage" (Franklin EWC, Inc., et al. v. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., et al., No. 20-04434, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174010).
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Sept. 21 refused to reconsider an earlier ruling that denied an insurer's motion for attorney fees following a $463,000 appraisal award in its favor in a Hurricane Michael coverage dispute, finding that the confession-of-judgment doctrine is inapplicable (Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Panama City, Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, No. 20-1, N.D. Fla.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal judge in Missouri on Sept. 21 held that dental care clinic insureds have sufficiently alleged a "direct physical loss" under their businessowners insurance policy and a partial suspension of their business operations, denying the insurer's motion to dismiss the insureds' class action seeking coverage for their losses incurred due to the novel coronavirus pandemic (Blue Springs Dental Care, LLC, et al. v. Owners Insurance Company, 20-00383, W.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172639).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 21 held that a dental services provider insured failed to allege a "direct physical loss" to trigger coverage for its financial losses as a result of the novel coronavirus closure orders, finding that the "coronavirus does not physically alter the appearance, shape, color, structure, or other material dimension of the property" (Sandy Point Dental PC v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, et al., No. 20-2160, N.D. Ill., N.D. Ill., Eastern Div., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171979).