Mealey's Coronavirus

  • May 14, 2021

    4 More Nursing Home COVID-19 Suits Remanded To State Courts

    Federal judges in California, New York and Florida recently joined the growing number of their colleagues in remanding COVID-19-related negligence, wrongful death, elder neglect and nursing home residents rights suits against long-term care facilities to state court, finding no federal jurisdiction under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act.

  • May 14, 2021

    Judge: Ralph Lauren Fails To Allege Physical Loss, Damage In COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on May 12 denied Ralph Lauren Corp.’s motion for partial judgment on the pleadings and granted its insurer’s cross-motion for judgment on the pleadings in a coverage lawsuit arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured’s pleadings fail to include any specific allegations as to physical loss or damage to its covered or surrounding properties.

  • May 13, 2021

    9th Circuit Asked To Overturn Garcia Dismissal, Find PREP Act Doesn’t Apply

    SAN FRANCISCO — Saying that a federal judge in California’s ruling that the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act completely preempts state law claims and immunizes a senior living facility from liability in the COVID-19-related death of a resident “is the only one among more than 25 similar district court cases around the country to misconstrue the PREP Act in this manner,” the resident’s family in a May 11 appellant brief asks the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse the dismissal and remand their suit, arguing that the act is not a complete preemption statute because it does not provide an exclusive federal cause of action for their claims.

  • May 13, 2021

    9th Circuit Asked To Overturn Garcia Dismissal, Find PREP Act Doesn’t Apply

    SAN FRANCISCO — Saying that a federal judge in California’s ruling that the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act completely preempts state law claims and immunizes a senior living facility from liability in the COVID-19-related death of a resident “is the only one among more than 25 similar district court cases around the country to misconstrue the PREP Act in this manner,” the resident’s family in a May 11 appellant brief asks the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse the dismissal and remand their suit, arguing that the act is not a complete preemption statute because it does not provide an exclusive federal cause of action for their claims.

  • May 13, 2021

    HCQ Group’s Constitutional Claims Against Facebook Transferred To California

    PHILADELPHIA — A group of Facebook users who champion the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to combat COVID-19 are bound by the forum-selection clause within Facebook Inc.’s terms of service (TOS), a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 3, granting the social network’s motion to transfer their suit alleging constitutional and antitrust violations to California federal court.

  • May 12, 2021

    CDC Appeals Ruling That COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium Exceeds Statutory Authority

    AKRON, Ohio — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and several federal government officials on May 7 filed a notice of appeal seeking review by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of an Ohio federal judge’s March 10 ruling that the CDC’s order imposing a nationwide ban on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic exceeded the agency’s authority.

  • May 12, 2021

    Federal Judge:  Cyber Charter School Is Covered Employer Under FFCRA

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania-based cyber charter school is a covered employer under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled May 10 granting a teacher’s motion for partial judgment on the pleadings in a case in which she alleges that she was wrongly denied leave in fall 2020 to care for her children whose brick-and-mortar schools remained closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • May 12, 2021

    Judge:  How Can Insurer Be ‘So Certain’ That COVID-19 Was Not On Salon’s Premises?

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A federal judge in Illinois on May 10 held that, for now, a hair salon insured has plausibly stated a cause of action that it is entitled to “Communicable Disease Business Income and Extra Expense Coverage” for its losses arising from the governmental shutdown of its business in response to the coronavirus pandemic, denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss the insured’s declaratory judgment lawsuit in its entirety.

  • May 12, 2021

    Policy Requires Insured To ‘Fall Down A Rabbit Hole,’ Judge Says In COVID-19 Suit

    PHILADELPHIA — Denying an insurer’s motion to dismiss a retail furniture insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses stemming from the forced closure of its business in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a Pennsylvania federal judge on May 7 said the more-than-100-page policy requires “the insured to fall down a rabbit hole and wander through a vast thicket of verbiage that would leave even the most careful reader mystified by the mazes of pages to be pieced together and deciphered in order to determine if there is coverage on the other side.”

  • May 11, 2021

    Amici: Policies Never Intended To Cover Economic Losses Untethered To Physical Damage

    CHICAGO — Amici curiae in support of an insurer on May 5 asked the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a lower federal court’s dismissal of a restaurant insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its alleged $977,891 in lost business income arising from its government-ordered shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that “[i]mposing a new and retroactive extra-contractual risk on insurers would threaten insurer solvency and harm Illinois’ insurance marketplace."

  • May 11, 2021

    Los Angeles Restaurant Owner Seeks Reversal Of No Coverage Ruling In COVID-19 Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The owner of two Los Angeles restaurants recently asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of its lawsuit seeking coverage for its business income loss caused by the governmental shutdown orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, contending that the lower court dismissed its complaint “based on a range of hypothetical policy consequences” that render its interpretation of the policy “unreasonable — even if conceivable.”

  • May 11, 2021

    Gallery: Court Erred In Accepting Insurer’s ‘Self- Serving’ Policy Interpretation

    NEW YORK — A Manhattan-based art gallery tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an April 2 brief that a lower federal court committed reversible error in its interpretation of an all-risk business owners insurance policy because it permitted the insurer to escape liability even though a reasonable interpretation of the policy requires the insurer to provide coverage for its losses arising from the forced cessation of its operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • May 06, 2021

    Federal Judge Vacates CDC’s COVID-Related Eviction Moratorium

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on May 5 granted a motion for summary judgment of rental property managers and real estate trade associations and vacated an order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that banned evictions to combat homelessness and thus control the spread of COVID-19.

  • May 06, 2021

    Nursing Home Defendants Appeal Remand Of COVID Negligence Suit To 5th Circuit

    FORT WORTH, Texas —  The owners and operators of a nursing home on May 5 informed a federal district court that they are appealing to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the court’s April 5 opinion and order remanding a COVID-19-related negligence suit against them to Texas state court.

  • May 06, 2021

    Biden Administration Will Waive Protection For COVID-19 Vax Patents

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a statement issued May 5, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that President Joseph R. Biden’s administration will work with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive patent protection under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for COVID-19 vaccines “in service of ending” the pandemic.

  • May 06, 2021

    Claims Relating To Servicer’s Placement Of Loan In Forbearance Dismissed

    PRESCOTT, Ariz. — A federal judge in Arizona on May 3 granted a mortgage loan servicer’s motion to dismiss a borrower’s claims stemming from the loan servicer’s alleged placement of the borrower’s mortgage loan into an “undisclosed forbearance” pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in violation of state and common law, ruling that the borrower failed to sufficiently state a claim for relief.

  • May 06, 2021

    New York Federal Judge Dismisses 2 Class Suits Seeking NYU Refunds

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on April 21 issued two decisions dismissing two separate putative class complaints seeking partial refunds from New York University (NYU) in connection with the school’s decision to take all classes online in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • May 05, 2021

    Los Angeles School District Seeks Dismissal Of Employees’ Mandatory Vaccines Suit

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and two district officials on May 3 moved to dismiss on the basis of 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution immunity a complaint filed in a California federal court by LAUSD employees and an employee association challenging the district’s requirement that employees get the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • May 04, 2021

    COVID Vaccine Contractor Emergent BioSolutions Faces House Probe, FDA Report, Suit

    Over a two-day period April 19 and 20, COVID-19 vaccine contractor Emergent BioSolutions Inc. became the subject of a House investigation, a critical Food and Drug Administration inspection report of a vaccine production facility and a shareholder lawsuit.

  • May 05, 2021

    Whole Foods Workers Disciplined For BLM Masks Appeal Dismissal

    BOSTON — A trial court erred when it dismissed discrimination and retaliation class claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Whole Foods workers who were disciplined when they wore Black Lives Matter (BLM) masks and other attire as the claims “fit squarely within the text and purpose of Title VII,” the workers argue in an April 28 appellant brief filed in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.