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COVID-19 Litigation Report

The global COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic immediately brought to light complex legal questions some predict could take years to answer. As the number of individuals and businesses impacted by Coronavirus continues to rise, so do disputes over compensation for losses related to the outbreak. This resource is an online newsfeed covering the novel legal developments COVID-19 leaves in its wake — from coverage of claims for business interruption, the applicability of exclusions, D&O and E&O claims, workers’ compensation and more.


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Lawsuit Says Independent Contractors Should Receive Aid Under CARES Act

A Colorado law firm has asked a federal judge to enjoin the United States Small Business Administration from barring independent contractor workers from receiving aid under the COVID-19 stimulus package.


3rd Cir. Panel Says ‘Mere Existence of COVID-19’ Does Not Justify Compassionate Release

A federal appeals panel has refused to decide a prisoner’s COVID-19-related compassionate-release motion, ruling that he must first exhaust the administrative process for such release through the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) before turning to the courts.


Watchdog Group Sues Fox News for Calling COVID-19 Pandemic a ‘Hoax’

A non-profit watchdog organization has sued Fox News and its CEO Rupert Murdoch in Washington state court, accusing them of downplaying the danger posed by the spread of COVID-19 in its broadcasts.


'COVID-19 Insurance Update: Possible Government Solutions to the Debates over Insurance Coverage for Business Interruption Losses'

Patrick Frye of Freeborn & Peters explains that state and federal lawmakers have discussed possible solutions that would ensure payment to insured businesses. He notes that in each proposal, the payment would initially come from the insurer, but the proposals vary as to whether the insurance industry or the government would ultimately fund those payments.


Public Agency Employees Seek Hazard Pay from U.S. Government, Cite Close Contact with COVID-19

Public agency employees have filed a class action complaint against the United States Government, saying that the defendant owes them hazardous duty pay since they have come into close contact with the coronavirus during the course of their employment.


State of Alaska Accuses Online Respirator Seller of Price-Gouging

The State of Alaska has accused an online seller of engaging in a price gouging scheme to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he purchased thousands of respirators from retail stores and resold them on Amazon and eBay at grossly inflated prices.


Plaintiffs in COVID-19 Cases Against Princess Cruise Lines Consent to Transfer Before Single Calif. Federal Judge

Plaintiffs in several cases against Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. pending in California federal court, who accuse the company of forging ahead with voyages despite the increased risk of COVID-19 spread amongst passengers, have consented to transfer before a single judge, citing “substantially related or similar questions of law and fact.”


Fla. Sports Bar Sues Lloyd’s Underwriters for COVID-19 Business Interruption Coverage

A Florida sports bar has sued Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London in federal court, demanding insurance coverage under a commercial property policy for loss of income and operating expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


'Business Interrupted: Policyholders Seek to Avoid the “Direct Physical Loss or Damage” Requirement for Business Interruption Insurance in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic'

Heidi Hudson Raschke and Amanda Proctor of Carlton Fields discuss whether business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic are the result of “direct physical loss of or damage” to the insured’s property so as to implicate business interruption coverage under the ISO Business Income (and Extra Expense) Coverage Form.


Princess Cruise Lines Sued for Continuing to Sail Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Three individuals filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. in California federal court, alleging the company knew that at least one of its passengers had disembarked the Grand Princess with symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, but still continued sailing the next voyage of the vessel with more than 3,500 people on “an infected ship.”


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