Mealey's Coronavirus

  • December 12, 2023

    Final Judgment Entered In Maine Health Workers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Challenge

    BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge in Maine on Dec. 11 granted a motion for entry of final judgment by health care employers after dismissal of the claims against them by workers who refused the COVID-19 vaccine citing religious beliefs.

  • December 12, 2023

    Dental Practice Incurred No Direct Physical Loss, Insurers Argue To Pa. High Court

    PITTSBURGH — Insurers filed a reply brief in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court defending their appeal of a Pennsylvania Superior Court majority’s ruling that at the very least, it is reasonable to interpret the phrase “direct physical loss of . . . property” to encompass the loss of use of a dental practice’s property due to the spread of the coronavirus “absent any actual damage to property.”

  • December 12, 2023

    Insured Failed To Show Coronavirus Is A Pollution Condition, Panel Says

    PORTLAND, Ore. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Dec. 11 affirmed a district court’s ruling that no coverage is owed to an insured for business interruption losses sustained as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic because the insured failed to show that the coronavirus qualifies as a pollution condition as required by the policy at issue.

  • December 12, 2023

    California Judge Sustains Insurer’s Demurrer To Nonprofit’s COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A California judge sustained an insurer’s demurrer to its nonprofit insured’s breach of contract, bad faith, negligent misrepresentation and declaratory relief complaint seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, holding that the coronavirus and the subsequent governmental orders “are inextricably intertwined.”

  • December 07, 2023

    COMMENTARY: Fire & Rain: 2023 Key Decisions & Developments Impacting The Wide World Of Insurance

    By Scott M. Seaman, Pedro E. Hernandez and Lisa M. Roccanova

  • December 11, 2023

    U.S. High Court Grants Cert In Federal Vaccine Cases, Finds Case, Injunctions Moot

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 11 granted petitions in three cases concerning various federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates and, citing United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., remanded with instructions to dismiss one of the cases as moot and to vacate as moot preliminary injunctions in the other two cases.

  • December 08, 2023

    Moderna: Pfizer Seeking ‘Two Bites At The Invalidity Apple’ With Patent Challenge

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A petition by Pfizer Inc. for inter partes review (IPR) of a Moderna TX Inc. patent directed to the messenger RNA technology used in the COVID-19 vaccine is a “transparent” effort to “double-dip,” Moderna says in a Dec. 7 preliminary patent owner response filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

  • December 07, 2023

    Health Workers’ Vaccine Case Discontinued After New York Mandate Repealed

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York signed off on the discontinuance of a case previously appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by health care workers challenging the New York Department of Health’s (DOH) COVID-19 vaccination requirements after the mandate was repealed.

  • December 04, 2023

    Airline Pilot’s Suit Alleging Illegal Detainment At Airport For No Mask Dismissed

    SPOKANE, Wash. — A Washington federal judge on Dec. 1 granted the motion of an airport and airport police officers seeking to dismiss the amended complaint of an airline pilot who alleged that he was racially profiled and unlawfully detained by the officers in their attempt to enforce the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) COVID-19 masking policy as the pilot passed through security on the way to his flight.

  • December 01, 2023

    New York Panel Reverses, Dismisses All Claims In COVID Suit Against Nursing Home

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York appellate court on Nov. 30 reversed a lower court decision that denied a nursing home’s motion to dismiss all claims against it in an estate executor’s suit after a decedent’s COVID-19-related death at the facility, finding that the nursing home was entitled to immunity pursuant to a since-repealed New York state law that provided protections to health care providers related to their treatment of persons during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

  • November 30, 2023

    Mental Health Facility Alleges Illegal Denial Of PPP Loan Forgiveness By SBA

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A mental health treatment facility filed a complaint seeking de novo review of a decision of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and challenging the legitimacy of the SBA and its appeal process after the SBA denied forgiveness for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan on the grounds that an owner of the facility had defaulted on another SBA loan.

  • November 30, 2023

    Gym Fee Dispute Stemming From COVID-19 Lockdowns Dismissed Without Prejudice

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Nov. 29 granted the motions of a fitness and health company and its wholly owned subsidiary gym network and a health insurer to dismiss a putative class complaint brought by a gym member alleging breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, negligent representation and violations of California law in continuing to charge fees for gym memberships during COVID-19 lockdowns when the gyms could not be accessed.

  • November 29, 2023

    BU Trustees Ask 1st Circuit To Affirm Pandemic Closure Ruling

    BOSTON — A trial court properly entered summary judgment for Boston University trustees in a putative class complaint brought by students after in-person classes transitioned to online-only in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic as the school, like the University of Rhode Island in Burt v. Board of Trustees of the University of Rhode Island, “suffered financial loss rather than profit from the transition to remote instruction, and thus that Plaintiffs cannot prove restitution damages as a matter of law,” the trustees argue in their appellee brief filed Nov. 28 in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • November 29, 2023

    Mediation Ordered In COVID-19 Pandemic Hydroxychloroquine Sales Contract Dispute

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Nov. 28 ordered parties to enter mediation in a case in which a pharmaceutical supplier alleged that a manufacturer breached a contract for the purchase of large quantities of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine phosphate for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 in failing to provide refunds for unpurchased products and to indemnify the supplier against claims by a governmental customer that the prices set by the manufacturer violated state law.

  • November 29, 2023

    Judge Denies Hospital’s Dismissal Motion In FCA Suit Over COVID Testing Scheme

    CHICAGO  — An Illinois federal judge denied dismissal motions filed by a hospital, the administrator of its lab and the lab’s medical director and affiliated company in a relator’s qui tam suit alleging that they violated the federal False Claims Act (FCA) and Illinois state laws by submitting for reimbursement to government insurers claims for unnecessary testing for COVID-19 and other unrelated conditions, finding that the relator “plausibly alleged materiality” regarding the purported “overbilling scheme.”

  • November 28, 2023

    No Coverage Owed For Clothing Retailer’s COVID-19 Losses, N.C. Panel Affirms

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured failed to allege a tangible alteration to its more than 1,300 clothing stores to trigger coverage.

  • November 28, 2023

    Law Student Blaming COVID-19 Data Fraud For Disenrollment Appeals Dismissal

    BOSTON — A former law student who alleged that his disenrollment from law school resulted from his refusal to be vaccinated pursuant to a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy that was implemented based on fraudulent COVID-19 data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by officials of Massachusetts and other states filed a notice of appeal in a Massachusetts federal court after the case was dismissed for lack of standing.

  • November 28, 2023

    No Coverage Owed For COVID-19 Losses Under Pollution Policy, Court Says

    NEW YORK — No coverage is owed for business interruption losses caused by the coronavirus because the virus is not a pollution condition and does not constitute an indoor environmental condition as defined in the pollution and remediation policy, a New York appellate panel said in affirming a trial court’s ruling.

  • November 27, 2023

    Ind. High Court:  Statute Precluding Pandemic Closure Class Action Constitutional

    INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana statute barring class claims against covered entities, including a university, stemming from alleged losses due to the coronavirus pandemic is constitutional, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.

  • November 20, 2023

    University:  Trial Court Abused Its Discretion With Class Cert In Closure Suit

    ATLANTA — The grant of class certification in a lawsuit by the parent of an Emory University student who seeks money back after classes and services were impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic was an abuse of discretion as the parent failed to show that common questions predominate or that class action is superior, the university argues in an appellant brief filed in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • November 20, 2023

    Judge Issues Opinion Reaffirming Order In Landlord’s Coronavirus Coverage Suit  

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York issued an opinion reaffirming its Sept. 29 order granting a commercial property insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a coronavirus coverage suit, finding that a commercial landlord insured failed to meet the contractual prerequisites to recover under the insurance policy’s two communicable disease provisions.

  • November 17, 2023

    Nationstar Granted Dismissal Of Claims That It Unjustly Denied COVID-19 Aid

    ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania granted a loan servicer’s motion to dismiss putative class claims accusing it of denying a borrower a COVID-19 loss mitigation option on the ground that it would not have reduced the principal and interest portions of his Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage, opining in a footnote that the borrower failed to “adequately plead a violation.”

  • November 17, 2023

    Calif. Panel:  COVID-19 Closures Did Not Toll Trial Deadline For Construction Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — Courtroom closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic did not toll the five-year deadline for commencing a civil trial because the failure to begin the trial in a construction defects action was caused by the two homeowners’ lack of diligence, a California appeals panel found in affirming eight mandatory dismissal orders entered by the trial court.

  • November 16, 2023

    Policy’s Virus Exclusion Bars Coverage For Coronavirus Losses, 9th Circuit Affirms

    PHOENIX — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 15 held that an insured failed to plausibly allege that anything other than the COVID-19 pandemic is the efficient proximate cause of its losses, affirming a federal court’s dismissal of the insured’s commercial insurance coverage lawsuit.

  • November 15, 2023

    BYU Student’s Class Certification Refile Request Denied In Pandemic Closure Case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge in Utah denied a motion by a Brigham Young University (BYU) student to file a renewed motion for class certification in a lawsuit over the school’s failure to provide partial refunds of tuition and fees after classes were switched to online-only during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the student’s only provided reason was that his previous motion was rejected.

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