WASHINGTON, D.C. — As circuit justice for the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on July 12 granted a nursing home’s application for an extension until Aug. 29 to file a petition for writ of certiorari challenging the Ninth Circuit’s affirmance of a district court’s order remanding to state court a wrongful death suit filed by the family of a man who died in the nursing home after contracting COVID-19.
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of Florida restaurant operators’ breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for their business losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, finding “no reversible error” in the lower court’s ruling.
NEW YORK — A clothing boutique owner on July 22 filed a notice of appeal to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking reversal of a lower federal court’s dismissal of its breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking business interruption and property damage coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus and subsequent shutdown orders.
SAN FRANCISCO — California’s derivative injury doctrine does not bar a claim for COVID-19 exposure against an employer brought by an employee’s spouse, a worker and his wife argue in their petitioner brief filed July 22 in the California Supreme Court after the high court granted review of questions certified by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concerning an employee’s exposure to COVID-19 at work and an employer’s responsibilities.
ALBANY, N.Y. — The owner and operator of numerous restaurants on July 12 moved in the New York Court of Appeals for leave to appeal the First Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division’s ruling that affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of its commercial property coverage lawsuit arising from an alleged tens of millions of dollars in revenue loss prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the issue on appeal “is indisputably of statewide, public importance, representing one of the most consequential insurance law questions to arise under New York law in decades.”
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida judge on July 20 held that an insured has asserted sufficient facts to demonstrate a claim for declaratory relief and breach of contract against certain defendant insurers regarding their policies’ specialty coverages for “Closings Due to Death or Disease” and “Cancellation of Bookings Due to Contagious or Infectious Disease” but dismissed with prejudice the insured’s claims that the coronavirus physically damaged its property.
RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina appeals panel on July 19 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a residential rental property owner’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its financial losses resulting from Dare County’s prohibition on entry to the county by nonresident visitors in response to the coronavirus pandemic, rejecting the insured’s contention that the policy’s dwelling and loss of use coverage provisions were triggered.
HARTFORD, Conn. — An insurer on July 13 moved for judgment one month after a Connecticut judge granted its motion to strike the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority’s breach of contract and bad faith complaint seek coverage for its economic losses arising from the closure of the insured’s operations because of the coronavirus pandemic.
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 6 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insurance policy’s contamination exclusion bars coverage for a power-conveyance and energy management solutions provider’s lawsuit seeking coverage under the policy’s time element provision for its business interruption expenses related to the coronavirus, finding that the policy’s plain language demonstrates that the exclusion applies to the time element section.
PORTLAND, Ore. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 18 affirmed the confirmation of an arbitral award worth more than $16.6 million against a Canadian tickets provider in favor of Costco Wholesale Corp., which prevailed on claims that the provider kept millions of dollars in funds from Costco for tickets for events that were canceled, some of which had to be refunded.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A frequent flyer challenging the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mask mandate on July 5 filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling rejecting the flyer’s contention that the mask mandate exceeded the statutory authority Congress granted to the TSA.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 6 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a business consulting company insured’s bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for its financial losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insureds have failed to assert the existence of a qualifying “communicable disease event."
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel July 13 reversed a trial court’s grant of an insurer’s demurrer to claims that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breached an insurance policy by denying a claim for physical damage from the COVID-19 virus brought by a business forced to shut down during the pandemic, finding that the court improperly ruled based on its “disbelief” of the plaintiffs’ allegations.
BANGOR, Maine — Maine health care workers who as Does sued their employers and several state officials challenging the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate filed an amended complaint on July 11 in a federal court in Maine revealing their names after the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 denied their request for an emergency stay of the trial court’s disclosure order.
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 12 affirmed dismissal of a lawsuit challenging Food and Drug Administration actions involving two COVID-19 vaccines, agreeing that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring claims on behalf of the military.
NEW ORLEANS — A hydraulic fracturing services company on June 29 filed a petition in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking rehearing en banc of a ruling that reversed a lower court and held that the company violated federal law when it terminated the employment of three workers during the COVID-19 pandemic without providing advanced notice.
CINCINNATI — A Michigan State University (MSU) employee challenging the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy for faculty, staff and students who have what the plaintiff describes as “naturally acquired immunity” argues in an appellant brief filed July 6 in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the trial court that dismissed her claims erred in subjecting the vaccine mandate to a rational basis review.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on July 5 issued an order approving the voluntary dismissal of a putative class complaint by four hospital employees who were suspended or terminated for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine as required by a New York regulation.
RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina appeals panel on July 5 reversed a lower court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of restaurant insureds in a coronavirus coverage dispute, finding that governmental orders that temporarily restricted the scope of the insureds’ restaurant operations did not constitute direct physical loss or property damage to trigger coverage under their “all-risk” insurance policies.
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 affirmed a lower federal judge’s grant of insurers’ motion for judgment on the pleadings in a breach of contract and bad faith coverage lawsuit arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insureds limited their dental services as a precautionary measure and not because the coronavirus was present on their insured premises.