August 4, 2020
On July 30, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation held a Zoom hearing on a motion filed by plaintiffs’ lawyers to consolidate hundreds of business interruption claims filed across the country. The Panel permitted a number of plaintiffs’ counsel and two insurers’ counsel to each argue for 3 uninterrupted minutes and then respond to questions.   Proponents of consolidation...
As posted at: The National Law Review

August 3, 2020
Law360 (July 30, 2020, 4:43 PM EDT) -- A member of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation questioned Thursday whether key business interruption policy language could be construed the same way under the laws of all 50 states as the panel mulled requests to centralize hundreds of federal cases over coverage for businesses' COVID-19 losses.   During a 90-minute hearing held via...
As posted at: Law360

July 29, 2020
(Reuters) - At least 40 attorneys have signed up to argue Thursday as the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation weighs petitions to create an MDL for nearly 270 lawsuits seeking Business Interruption (BI) insurance coverage for losses from coronavirus contamination or government orders restricting their operations.   If the petitioners succeed, it will be "the first-ever...

July 17, 2020
It was a relief for most people when vehicle insurers said a few months ago they’d offer temporary discounts to reflect the fact that few of us were driving because of the pandemic.   In most cases, those discounts are now in the rearview mirror, meaning our rates are back to pre-pandemic levels.   And now comes the prospect of some insurance companies recouping their losses...
As posted at: Los Angeles Times

July 14, 2020
A federal appellate court has cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit to proceed against State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. that may force the insurer to correct underpayments paid to some 65,000 policyholders.   A 6th Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed a district court ruling that certified a class of plaintiff’s who may proceed with breach-of contract claims against...
As posted at: Claims Journal

July 9, 2020
Insurers nationwide are awaiting the forthcoming decision of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on consolidating COVID-19 business interruption coverage lawsuits. In the meantime, some federal courts are staying proceedings, declining to rule on fully-briefed motions and deferring decisions that could bring clarity to insurers and their insureds in individual disputes....
As posted at: JDSupra

July 6, 2020
On the morning of her 34th birthday last July, Katrina Lassen woke up in her new house in Larkfield Estates, a suburban subdivision where all 163 homes had been incinerated by the Tubbs fire in 2017.   “It was surreal,” she said. “I just felt at home immediately.”   The ranch-style home lost in the blaze was where her husband, Danny, a Santa Rosa firefighter, had grown up. In...
As posted at: The Press Democrat

July 2, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO, July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The PG&E Fire Victim Trust announced today that it has been funded effective today. The Trust received the Fire Victim Trust settlement proceeds from PG&E which includes 476,995,175 shares of PG&E Common Stock and the first installment of cash funding of $5.385 billion ($5.4 billion reduced by previous court-ordered advances of $15 million...
As posted at: PR Newswire

July 2, 2020
When the trustee overseeing the compensation fund for PG&E fire victims determines the values of some 80,000 claims, the vast majority of claimants won't have the opportunity to appeal the decision in court. But the judge overseeing the utility's bankruptcy case has granted exceptions to a handful of local government agencies, corporations and individuals. They include Comcast, Adventist...
As posted at: KQED

June 23, 2020
It’s fair to say that most Americans see the coronavirus outbreak as an enormous and fearsome burden.   Not the insurance industry. In California, the industry is using the crisis to bring about a sneaky change in insurance rules that could lead to massive increases in homeowner premiums.   The insurers’ instrument is a bill that has quietly sailed through the state Assembly...
As posted at: Los Angeles Times