SAN FRANCISCO — The family of a man who died in a long-term care facility during the COVID-19 pandemic argues to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a May 26 brief that a federal California judge correctly remanded its wrongful death action to state court because the facility’s failure to take action to control the spread of the virus was not at the specific direction of the federal government.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Equal Employment Opportunity on May 28 issued updated information for employers and employees regarding the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines.
ATLANTA — A district court correctly found that an insured restaurant chain’s claim for loss of business income caused by shutdown orders issued by state governors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is not covered because the decision is clearly supported by the insurance policy’s language and because the policy’s contamination exclusion bars coverage, an insurer says in a May 26 appellee brief filed in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on May 24 denied a motion to vacate filed by the owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton, refusing to disturb her dismissal of their breach of contract lawsuit alleging $40,798,390 in damages for their losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
MINNEAPOLIS — The virus that causes COVID-19 does not constitute a pollution condition under a premises pollution liability policy, a Minnesota federal judge said May 25 in granting an insurer’s motion to dismiss the insured’s complaint seeking business interruption losses caused by the shutdown of nonessential businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NEW ORLEANS — Insureds on May 22 filed a notice in a Louisiana federal court indicating that they are appealing an April 23 ruling that granted a businessowners insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in their lawsuit seeking coverage for their alleged losses prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
MIAMI — No coverage is owed for an insured’s business losses sustained as a result of shutdown orders issued to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus because the insured failed to show that the virus is a biological agent as defined in the policy’s pollution condition endorsement, a Florida federal judge said May 20 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss.
SCRANTON, Pa. — Dismissal of an insured’s claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against its insurer for failure to pay business losses stemming from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s business closure order as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is warranted because the insured failed to sufficiently plead any facts that would invoke “a reasonable expectation” of coverage for the claims he has made, the insurer argues in a May 10 motion to dismiss filed in Pennsylvania federal court.
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LOS ANGELES — Teachers’ labor union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) on May 19 filed an anti-SLAPP motion in a California state court to strike the first amended complaint of parents of Los Angeles County schoolchildren seeking to prevent UTLA from interfering in the resumption of in-person teaching, which had been suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHICAGO — The owner of a hotel, restaurant and convention center on May 7 reiterated its argument asking the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of its breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that its interpretation of its “all-risk” insurance policy’s business income coverage is reasonable and, therefore, the insurer has failed to establish the “legal insufficiency” of its complaint.
NEW YORK — An insurer in a May 7 appellee brief asserts that New York law is settled on the meaning of “direct physical loss” and that the several pages an art gallery insured “devotes to cites from jurisdictions far and wide is nothing but an exercise in misdirection” and asks the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a lower federal court’s dismissal of the insured’s complaint for failing to assert facts establishing “direct physical loss of or physical damage to” its gallery.
TAMPA, Fla. — On May 18, six days after holding an in-person hearing on Florida’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the state’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and various federal officials seeking to be allowed to reopen the cruise ship industry, which had been shut down pursuant to the CDC’s orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a federal judge referred the case for mediation.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio judge on April 26 certified three classes in a lawsuit brought by a University of Toledo (UT) student who alleges he and other students and individuals paying tuition and fees during the spring 2020 semester were not properly refunded when the school shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
LOS ANGELES — A California state judge on May 4 denied an application for a temporary restraining order filed by parents of Los Angeles public school students and a parent-led student advocacy organization to compel a Los Angeles school district that had closed schools to in-person teaching because of the COVID-19 pandemic to resume full-time in-person instruction “to the greatest extent possible at the earliest practicable time.” The judge also scheduled a hearing on the parents’ application for an order to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not issue pending trial for May 26.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and an employment staffing company failed to safeguard private health information (PHI) contained in COVID-19 contract tracing lists and then timely notify those affected after a data breach, a Pennsylvania woman alleges in her putative class complaint filed May 5 in a federal court in Pennsylvania.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 12 asked the owner of a Florida restaurant and its insurer to address whether the relevant pleadings in a coronavirus coverage lawsuit sufficiently alleged the citizenship of the parties to invoke a Florida federal court’s jurisdiction in the first instance.
BOSTON — Northeastern University did not breach an in-person teaching contract with students or unjustly enrich itself when it halted in-person instruction and closed its campus in spring 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled May 10, granting summary judgment to the school in two putative class complaints.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A lower court did not abuse its discretion by denying a daughter’s emergency motion to move her mother out of an assisted living facility during the COVID-19 pandemic because it determined that it was in the mother’s best interest to stay at the facility, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled May 13 in an unreported opinion.
SAN FRANCISCO — Without providing further detail, a federal judge in California on May 13 denied motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit and allowed lead plaintiffs to amend their complaint, in which they allege that a clinical-stage biotechnology company, a hedge fund and others engaged in a massive stock pump-and-dump scheme in violation of federal securities laws stemming from the defendants’ alleged misrepresentations that the company’s COVID-19 oral vaccine candidate had been chosen to take part in the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program.