Federal Multidistrict Litigation Petition Filed In Connection With Coronavirus-Related Business Interruption Coverage Claims
Two Pennsylvania restaurants filed a Petition with the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on April 20, 2020, seeking coordination or consolidation of the pending nationwide business interruption coverage cases arising out of the coronavirus-related shutdowns. The restaurants recently filed individual cases in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
According to the Petition, the principal basis for the proposed coordination/consolidation of the various pending cases is that the survival of businesses is an issue of national importance which must be addressed uniformly.
The Petitioners may face hurdles in achieving MDL status, where they are both restaurants and thus represent only one sector of the economy, and because insurance law is state-centric. Additionally, addressing insurance coverage issues in a uniform manner may be challenging, as differing policy language contained in separate contracts of insurance and differing factual circumstances unique to individual claimants are necessarily at issue in the multiple lawsuits.
The litigation attorneys at Houston Harbaugh, P.C., are accomplished business trial lawyers, providing comprehensive support in litigation across a broad spectrum of matters throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and other jurisdictions upon a special admission basis. Our clients are regional and national small, medium and large companies and individuals who seek well planned and aggressive, but cost effective litigation. We counsel, we budget, we have a deep bench, we act quickly when needed and we have experienced trial lawyers who know the courts and bench. We serve regularly as local counsel for some of the largest law firms in the country when they have matters in this region.
Henry M. Sneath - Practice Chair
Co-Chair of Houston Harbaugh’s Litigation Practice, and Chair of its Intellectual Property Practice, Henry Sneath is a trial attorney, mediator, arbitrator and Federal Court Approved Mediation Neutral and Special Master with extensive federal and state court trial experience in cases involving commercial disputes, breach of contract litigation, intellectual property matters, patent, trademark and copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, DTSA claims, cyber security and data breach prevention, mitigation and litigation, probate trusts and estates litigation, construction claims, eminent domain, professional negligence lawsuits, pharmaceutical, products liability and catastrophic injury litigation, insurance coverage, and insurance bad faith claims.
Samuel H. Simon - Practice Chair
As co-chair of Houston Harbaugh’s Litigation Group, Sam focuses his practice on commercial/business litigation. Sam regularly represents clients in the construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, and wholesale/retail/ distribution industries, as well as individuals in matters such as:
- Construction litigation
- Environmental litigation
- Breach of contract disputes
- Oil and gas litigation
- Restrictive covenants (non-compete agreements)
- Civil rights
- Collections/creditors’ rights
- Lease disputes