Mealey's Coronavirus

  • June 20, 2024

    2nd Circuit Lifts Stay Of Clothing Boutique’s Appeal In COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals lifted the stay of a clothing boutique owner insured’s appeal of a federal district court’s order that denied its motion to alter or amend a judgment dismissing its breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking business interruption and property damage coverage for its losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdown orders.

  • June 19, 2024

    Whistleblower, Government Settle Qui Tam Suit Against PPP Loan Recipient Church

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee federal court issued an order of dismissal pursuant to a joint stipulation filed by the federal government and a former employee of a church indicating that they had reached a settlement with the church after the employee brought a False Claims Act (FCA) suit accusing the church of making misrepresentations on an application for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and not using the funds in accordance with the rules for loan forgiveness.

  • June 18, 2024

    Panera $4 Million Advertised Delivery Fee Settlement Ends 3 Class Lawsuits

    ST. LOUIS — A class settlement between a fast food chain and customers with a value of more than $4 million was approved by a Missouri judge, ending three class complaints alleging that Panera Bread Co. and Panera LLC (together, Panera) falsely advertised no- or low-cost delivery fees while charging customers additional hidden charges when food delivery increased in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • June 17, 2024

    Lakers, Insurer Dismiss Coronavirus Coverage Dispute In California Federal Court

    LOS ANGELES —The Los Angeles Lakers and its commercial property insurer filed a stipulation asking a California federal court to dismiss with prejudice the insured’s lawsuit arising from its property damage and business interruption claims for losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • June 17, 2024

    StubHub, Ticket Purchasers Dismiss 28 Class Claims In Pandemic Cancellation Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. — StubHub Inc. and the ticket purchasers who accuse StubHub in a consolidated class complaint in a federal court in California of changing its refund policies for events canceled or rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic filed a stipulation to dismiss 28 of the 31 claims, leaving in place claims under California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL).

  • June 12, 2024

    Company Says Worker Fails To Plead Discrimination Case As To Its Vaccination Policy

    PORTLAND, Ore. — In a lawsuit by a former employee alleging that her employer failed to make a good faith effort to accommodate her religious beliefs and medical disability, both of which led her to decline a company-mandated COVID-19 vaccination, which caused her dismissal, the employer moved an Oregon federal court for judgment on the pleadings, contending that the employee failed to plead facts sufficient to show that she held a bona fide religious belief that conflicted with the employer’s vaccination policy or that she was disabled within the meaning of state or federal law.

  • June 11, 2024

    Hydroxychloroquine Maker Says Complaining Distributor Gave Up Reimbursement Rights

    TRENTON, N.J. — In a lawsuit filed in New Jersey federal court by a pharmaceutical supplier alleging that a manufacturer breached a contract for the purchase of large quantities of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine phosphate in refusing to provide refunds for unsold product and failing to indemnify the supplier for sale prices that ran afoul of state law, the manufacturer moved for judgment on the pleadings, contending that the supplier had relinquished its reimbursement rights in writing and that it was not responsible for the supplier’s resale prices

  • June 10, 2024

    PPP Loan Recipient Gets Most Of Forgiveness It Sought In Settlement With SBA

    CHICAGO — A Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan recipient and the Small Business Administration (SBA) on June 7 filed a stipulation for compromise settlement and release that provides forgiveness of 90% of the recipient’s loan, for which it had previously been denied forgiveness by the SBA, in exchange for releasing the government from all claims in connection with the loan.

  • June 07, 2024

    Late Housing Discrimination Claim Not Saved By Pandemic- Related Equitable Tolling

    GREENBELT, Md. — A Maryland federal judge on June 6 granted a motion to dismiss filed by an apartment complex’s owner and operator in a disabled prospective renter’s lawsuit alleging that he was refused an apartment in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), finding that the lawsuit was untimely and that the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic did not provide an adequate basis for equitable tolling.

  • June 06, 2024

    Judge: Amazon Immune From Workers’ Temperature Scan Class Suit Under PREP Act

    CHICAGO — A warehouse worker’s putative class complaint accusing her employer of violating Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by scanning workers’ temperatures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was terminated by a federal magistrate judge in Illinois who found that the employer was entitled to statutory immunity based on the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act).

  • June 06, 2024

    Parties Settle Disability Benefits Suit Stemming From Long COVID Diagnosis

    MIAMI — A Florida federal judge ordered the parties in a long-term disability (LTD) benefits suit stemming from a claimant’s diagnosis with long COVID to file a joint stipulation of dismissal and administratively closed the case after the parties notified the court that they reached a settlement.

  • June 06, 2024

    University Of Chicago Settles Pandemic Closure Class Suit For $4.95 Million

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois granted final approval of a $4.95 million settlement between the University of Chicago and a class of students who sought partial refunds for tuition and fees for the spring 2020 semester when learning was transitioned to online-only due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • June 05, 2024

    6th Circuit Vacates Health Care Provider’s $130,000 Vaccine Mandate Settlement

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in considering the second appeal in a settled case by employees over a health care provider’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy, vacated the settlement approval, finding that no named plaintiff in the case had standing as to the health care provider’s affiliates added in the settlement, resulting in the trial court lacking jurisdiction.

  • June 04, 2024

    Navy SEALs Seek Preliminary Class Settlement Approval In COVID-19 Vaccine Case

    FORT WORTH, Texas — Navy SEALs and members of the Navy who sued after they were denied religious exemptions from the Navy’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement filed a motion in a federal court in Texas seeking preliminary approval of a class settlement that will provide corrections to their personnel records, policy changes, public postings and attorney fees.

  • June 03, 2024

    R.I. Supreme Court Affirms Contamination Exclusion Bars Coverage In Coronavirus Suit

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island Supreme Court on May 31 affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of a commercial property insurer in an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that it has “no difficulty concluding” that the insured’s “allegations fall squarely within the Contamination Exclusion.”

  • May 31, 2024

    Communicable Disease Business Income Coverage Limit Is $100,000 Per Occurrence

    NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey ruled that a commercial insurance policy’s applicable limit for its Communicable Disease Business Income Coverage is $100,000 per occurrence and the threat of the spread of the coronavirus and not Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders triggered this coverage, granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment and denying an insured’s cross-motion in a declaratory judgment lawsuit arising from the pandemic.

  • May 31, 2024

    6th Circuit: Hospital Had Valid Basis To Fire Worker Who Sought ADA Accommodation

    CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling of an Ohio federal court granting the motion for summary judgment of a hospital sued by its in-house pharmacist for denying him a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) after the hospital fired him for leaving his post before the end of his shift to avoid a co-worker exposed to COVID-19 and for terminating him in retaliation for his requesting an accommodation for his hereditary spastic paraplegia.

  • May 30, 2024

    Amici Support Pandemic Unemployment Applicants’ Exhaustion High Court Arguments

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Chamber of Commerce of the United States and a number of other groups filed amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting arguments by Alabama unemployment benefits applicants who argue that their lawsuit over the delays in processing the large amount of applications filed due to the coronavirus pandemic was improperly dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

  • May 30, 2024

    1st Circuit Denies Rehearing After Finding Mass. Law Bars Pandemic Closure Suit

    BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc filed by students who brought a class complaint against the trustees of Boston University (BU) for allegedly breaching the promise of in-person instruction and services when the school transitioned to online learning in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic; the petition was filed after the First Circuit ruled that the retroactive application of a Massachusetts law signed into effect in August 2022 that bars such lawsuits does not violate the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.

  • May 29, 2024

    Washington Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Quest Diagnostics’ Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    SEATTLE — A Washington appeals panel held May 28 that Quest Diagnostics Inc. failed to establish that the presence of COVID-19 resulted in physical loss or damage to its insured property, affirming a lower court’s dismissal of the insured’s breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage under the civil authority policy provision for its business interruption losses.

  • May 29, 2024

    PPP Borrower Says SBA’s Motion To Dismiss Misconstrues Nature Of Relief Sought

    MIAMI — A Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan recipient responded to a motion to dismiss its complaint against the administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) seeking to force the SBA to determine its eligibility for the loan on May 28, stating that the motion misconstrues the nature of the relief sought, which is the determination of its eligibility for the loan and not whether it is eligible for loan forgiveness.

  • May 29, 2024

    8th Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Mayo Clinic Workers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Claims

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — Three workers who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and were denied religious exemptions and two who were granted exemptions but refused their employer’s alternate testing requirements may all proceed with their religious accommodation claims against their employers as the trial court erred when it granted dismissal to The Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Health System-Southeast Minnesota Region and Mayo Clinic, Ambulance (together, Mayo Clinic), an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, finding in part that the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) provides a cause of action for failure to accommodate religious beliefs.

  • May 28, 2024

    4th Circuit Affirms No Coverage Ruling In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in Mars Inc.’s declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding no reversible error in the lower court’s ruling.

  • May 28, 2024

    10th Circuit: No Jurisdiction Over New Mexico COVID-19 Vaccine Order Class Case

    DENVER — A putative class complaint by a nurse and an individual looking to have her children show animals at a state fair that challenged a New Mexico public health order (PHO) requiring certain individuals to be vaccinated against coronavirus should have been dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) as there is no jurisdiction over their claims, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, finding that one of the individual’s claims was moot and the other lacked standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution.

  • May 28, 2024

    Illinois High Court Hears Arguments In Row Over Care Facilities’ COVID Immunity

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in estates’ appeal of an appellate court decision answering in the affirmative a question certified to it from a lower court after modifying it to ask whether a specific executive order issued by the Illinois governor grants “immunity for ordinary negligence claims to healthcare facilities that rendered assistance to the State during the COVID-19 pandemic.”