ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in tri-state restaurant owner insureds’ lawsuit seeing coverage for their losses and expenses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, rejecting the insureds’ argument that the lower court erred when it just applied Kansas law.
SAN FRANCISCO — An unfair competition law (UCL) claim was dismissed by a federal judge in California on June 1 from a worker’s putative class complaint accusing Amazon.com Services LLC of failing to reimburse workers for expenses related to working from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of judgment on the pleadings in favor of a commercial property insurer in a coronavirus coverage dispute, finding that the losses incurred by the owners and operators of four Florida Planet Fitness franchise locations did not constitute “direct physical loss of or damage to” their property.
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a Chicago limousine company insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its business losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that Sandy Point Dental, P.C. v. Cincinnati Ins. Co. and East Coast Entm't of Durham, LLC v. Houston Cas. Co. & Am. Claims Mgmt., Inc. foreclose the insured’s appeal.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A former restaurant server who sued the owner and general manager and their companies in a federal court in South Carolina in 2020 for allegedly firing him after he left work believing he might have symptoms of COVID-19 and for wage violations filed a stipulation of voluntary dismissal on June 3; the defendants also stipulated to voluntary dismissal of their counterclaim for violation of the Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act (FCPSA).
RICHMOND, Va. — Denying an insured’s petition for rehearing/rehearing en banc and for stay of mandate, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 refused to disturb its April 14 ruling that found no reversible error of a lower federal court’s grant of an insurer’s motion to dismiss the insured’s breach of contract lawsuit arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 6 denied an insured’s petition for writ of certiorari, refusing to review the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that a commercial lines policy’s virus exclusion clearly precludes coverage for the insured’s business losses sustained as a result of state government-ordered business closures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
NEW ORLEANS — A premises pollution liability insurer owes no coverage for costs incurred by an insured for COVID-19 mitigation efforts because the mitigation efforts do not qualify as remediation costs under the pollution liability policy, a Louisiana federal judge said May 16 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan appeals panel on May 26 held that a delicatessen and restaurant insured is not entitled to business income or civil authority coverage for the income it lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders in response to the pandemic, affirming a lower court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of the insurer.
TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on June 2 granted the federal government’s unopposed motion to stay a lawsuit brought by 21 states challenging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel mask mandate pending the government’s appeal of a separate Florida federal court decision finding the mask mandate invalid.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — In a June 2 minute order, a California federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by a doctor’s organization and university students seeking to prevent a university from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccination requirement against students with natural immunity acquired from having been infected with the coronavirus after the students failed to amend their complaint by May 13.
SAN FRANCISCO — Hawaiian Airlines Inc. employees challenging their employer’s COVID-19 vaccine policy filed a brief in two appeals before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 20 seeking to consolidate them or at least expedite the appeal.
MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on June 1 held that bar and restaurant insureds fail to state a claim for coverage for their losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, reversing a lower court’s denial of a property insurer’s motion to dismiss the insureds’ breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit and remanding with instructions to dismiss the lawsuit.
CHICAGO — After an estate administrator and nursing home on May 23 filed a joint stipulation for dismissal in an Illinois federal court, a federal judge the same day issued a docket entry to dismiss, pursuant to settlement, the suit filed by the administrator against the nursing home related to the COVID-19 death of a resident there.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on May 13 denied StubHub’s renewed motion to compel arbitration and to dismiss claims by eight ticket purchasers in a multidistrict litigation accusing the secondary ticket marketer of changing its refund policies for events canceled or rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic, finding that StubHub failed to show that the eight purchasers assented to an arbitration agreement.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland appeals panel on May 24 held that a commercial property insurance policy provides no coverage for a restaurant insured’s “purely economic losses” stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, affirming a lower court’s dismissal of the insured’s breach of contract claim against its insurer but vacating and remanding the court’s disposal of a declaratory judgment claim because it failed to declare the rights of the parties.
STATEN ISLAND, NY — A New York state justice on May 18 ruled that the repeal of a New York law granting immunity to nursing homes for the treatment of residents related to COVID-19 was not retroactive and that a nursing home was “immune from liability,” granting the nursing home’s motion to dismiss a negligence and wrongful death suit filed against it related to the suspected COVID-19 death of one of its residents.
CINCINNATI — A split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals sitting en banc on May 25 dismissed an appeal by a private Catholic school and parents of students challenging a Michigan federal district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction to block a statewide mask mandate for schoolchildren in public and private K-5 schools intended to control the spread of COVID-19, determining that the interlocutory appeal and the underlying claim were moot given the vastly changed circumstances of the pandemic.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on May 25 granted review of a majority of the Pennsylvania Superior Court’s partial reversal of a lower court’s order coordinating coronavirus coverage lawsuits against Erie Insurance Exchange in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, addressing whether Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 213.1 limits coordination to “pending” lawsuits.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 24 held that a Florida restaurant insured’s “intangible” losses and expenses because of the coronavirus pandemic did not trigger coverage under a commercial property insurance policy, affirming a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of the insurer in a breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit brought by the insured.