SAN DIEGO — California high school students and parents with religious objections to the COVID-19 vaccines challenging a school district’s imposition of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate sought a preliminary injunction from a California federal court on May 11, claiming that the lack of religious exemptions from the mandate violated their rights to free exercise of religion.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 13 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a Florida restaurant owner insured’s lawsuit alleging that its business losses and extra expenses resulting from coronavirus pandemic were covered, finding that loss of business as a result of government closure orders is not covered because as recently found in SA Palm Beach, LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, “some tangible alteration of the property is required.”
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A health care provider’s summary judgment motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 in a putative class complaint by employees challenging COVID-19 testing requirements for those who were granted religious exemptions to mandated vaccines is premature as the identified shortcomings in the complaint would be “best addressed” in a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motion, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled May 10.
MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on May 11 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a restaurant and bar’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its business income losses caused by the suspension of its operations during the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured’s economic losses are not covered under its commercial property insurance policy.
ATLANTA — In a frequent air traveler’s appeal of a Florida federal court’s ruling that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s transportation mask mandate and international traveler COVID-19 testing requirement for reentering the country were valid exercises of its legislative authority, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 12 denied the traveler’s emergency motion for a preliminary injunction of the testing requirement and directed the clerk to treat any motion for consideration of the order as a non-emergency matter.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — After a stay was lifted, a nursing home on May 9 filed a reply brief with the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in support of its motion to dismiss its appeal of a wrongful death suit brought by a son whose father contracted COVID-19 at the facility, arguing that the appeal is moot as the underlying state court suit “no longer exists.”
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on May 9 granted a shipowner’s petition to confirm a London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) arbitral award worth more than $110,000 against a charterer after finding that the award does not violate U.S. public policy because it related to payment for a charter scheduled after March 2020 when international travel was restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
ATLANTA — In a frequent air traveler’s appeal of a Florida federal court’s ruling that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s transportation mask mandate and international traveler COVID-19 testing requirement for reentering the country were valid exercises of its legislative authority, the CDC on May 10 opposed the air traveler’s emergency motion for a preliminary injunction of the testing requirement, arguing that the circumstances did not constitute an urgent situation and that the harm claimed by the air traveler was speculative.
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on May 5 limited the authorized use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Global Services LLC COVID-19 one-dose vaccine because of the risk of blood clots with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).
RICHMOND, Va. — Insurers on April 28 petitioned the Virginia Supreme Court to reconsider its April 14 denial of their appeal of a lower court’s ruling that denied their motions to crave oyer in a coronavirus coverage dispute with its hotel insureds according to docket entry.
ATLANTA — In his appeal of a Florida federal court’s ruling that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s transportation mask mandate and the international traveler COVID-19 testing requirement for reentering the country were valid exercises of its legislative authority, a frequent air traveler on May 6 requested that the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals enjoin the CDC from enforcing the testing requirement, claiming that he was injured by the prospect of being unable to board his return flight because of being unable to obtain a test or because of a false positive test result.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 5 granted a state university’s motion and dismissed a doctor’s organization for lack of standing from the second amended complaint of the organization and university students seeking to prevent the university from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccination requirement against students with natural immunity acquired from having been infected with the coronavirus. All the plaintiffs’ individual claims were also dismissed, some with leave to amend.
ATLANTA — A preliminary injunction granted to two military officers challenging a COVID-19 vaccine mandate should be vacated as it exceeds the court’s authority to intrude on military decisions and the officers failed to show that their claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and free exercise clause of the First Amendment are likely to succeed, federal government officials argue in an appellant brief filed April 11 in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a mandate on May 3 after denying insureds’ petition for a panel rehearing or a stay of a mandate related to the court’s March 22 grant of a business owners insurer’s motion or judgment on the pleadings in their lawsuit seeking coverage for their alleged losses prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
FORT WORTH, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on May 7 denied a motion to dismiss a class lawsuit by Navy SEALs and other service members challenging the Navy’s COVID-19 vaccination policies, rejecting the federal government’s arguments that the claims are not ripe for review and that the venue was improper.
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 5 held that, under Florida law, “all-risk” commercial insurance policies do not provide coverage for losses and expenses incurred by businesses as a result of the coronavirus because COVID-19 did not cause a “tangible alteration” of their insured properties.
NEW CASTLE, Del. — An insurer on April 28 answered an insured’s appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court seeking to overturn a lower court’s finding that an insurance policy’s “Pollution and Contamination” exclusion unambiguously bars coverage for the insured’s economic losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and related government shutdowns of its six family entertainment centers and two water parks in three states.
PHOENIX — An Arizona state community college district on May 5 opposed a law firm’s motion to intervene as a party defendant to protect what the law firm characterized as its “contractual contingency interest” in any fees and costs awarded to two nursing students seeking to prevent the college district from enforcing a policy requiring them to become vaccinated for COVID-19 to participate in a clinical rotation required for their graduation.
DALLAS — A Southern Methodist University (SMU) student whose putative class complaint against the school after it shut its doors and transferred all learning to online in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic was dismissed filed a notice on April 29 in a federal court in Texas that he will appeal dismissal of his breach of contract claim.
ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on April 29 in an order addressing numerous motions in a putative class complaint accusing various airlines of violating the Air Carrier Access Act when they enforced the federal transportation mask mandate dismissed the passengers’ amended complaint, which added the class claims, and directed that a second amended complaint must be filed no later than May 13.