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The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed one of the largest waves of insurance coverage litigation in American history.  Since the onset of the pandemic in March of 2020, over 2,100 lawsuits have been filed against the insurance industry in at least 44 states seeking coverage for COVID-19-related business interruption.  These cases have resulted in over 800 trial court decisions on the merits and almost 20 appellate court decisions to date with more constantly pouring in.

These cases have (among insurance coverage disputes) gained unprecedented levels of attention both in the mainstream and legal media and will set lasting precedents not only in the area of property insurance law but also in areas such as pleading standards, the standards governing pleadings motions and in the continuing viability, or lack thereof, of the U.S. Supreme Court’s bedrock decision in Erie Railroad v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938), which required federal courts sitting in diversity to apply state substantive law and not federal common law.

This presentation will explore the most significant decisions handed down by the courts in 2021 concerning COVID-19 business interruption insurance coverage litigation and provide registrants with both valuable takeaways and insights into the key trends emerging from these decisions.

Please join Scott D. Greenspan, a Senior Counsel from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP who also serves as the national coordinator of the firm’s COVID-19 business interruption practice, as he addresses:

  • Court decisions on policyholder claims that government orders caused the physical loss or damage (PLOD) required to trigger their all-risk commercial property policies (10 minutes)
  • Court decisions on policyholder claims that the presence of Coronavirus on their premises caused PLOD (20 minutes)
  • Loss causation in the wake of the California Court of Appeal’s decision in Inns by the Sea – is this the next major battlefield in COVID-19 BI litigation? (10 minutes)
  • The K.C. Hopps case and trial – the first COVID-19 case to be tried to verdict to a jury (10 minutes)
  • Are federal courts ignoring Erie v. Tompkins in COVID-19 BI cases? (10 minutes)
    • The refusal of most federal courts to certify PLOD trigger questions to their state supreme courts
    • The issuance, by several U.S. Courts of Appeal, of decisions on the PLOD trigger in the face of known impending decisions on that same issue by state supreme courts rather than withholding decision until rulings by those state supreme courts


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