COVID-19 Class Actions by State

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I. Education

  1. Rosenkrantz v. Arizona Board of Regents (D. Ariz. Mar. 27, 2020) – putative class action alleging the board failed to offer refunds for a portion of its room and board fees or other on-campus services after the campus shifted to online learning due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  2. Corinti v. Asset Plus Corp. (N.D. Fla. Apr. 7, 2020) – class action against property manager of college dormitories seeking refund of housing fees.
  3. Dixon v. University of Miami (D.S.C. Apr. 8, 2020) – class action seeking to recover tuition, fees, and other costs for the shortened spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19 closures.
  4. Rickenbaker v. Drexel University (D.S.C. Apr. 8, 2020) – class action seeking reimbursement for certain tuition fees and other costs because the private university closed campus down amid the coronavirus pandemic cutting the spring semester short.
  5. Church v. Purdue University (N.D. Ind. Apr. 9, 2020) – class action asserting claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment demanding Purdue return tuition housing costs, and fees based on the university’s “refusal to provide restitution” after sending students home and transitioning to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  6. Student A v. Liberty University Inc. (W.D. Va. Apr. 13, 2020) – class action brought on behalf of students seeking a refund of prepaid activities and services for the spring 2020 semester when classes were transitioned to online-only related to COVID-19.
  7. Carpey v. University of Colorado Boulder ex rel. Board of Regents (D. Colo. Apr. 15, 2020) – class action by students and their parents and guardians asserting claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment to recover tuition and fees based on the university’s transition to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic; alleging “the value of any degree issued on the basis of online or pass/fail classes will be diminished for the rest of Plaintiff’s life.”
  8. Raftopoulous-Johnson v. Arizona Board of Regents (D.N.J. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action lawsuit on behalf of all people who paid tuition and fees for the spring 2020 academic semester at Arizona State University, alleging students lost the benefit of education and services without having their tuition and fees refunded.
  9. Perna v. American Campus Communities Inc. (M.D. Fla. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action on behalf of parents and students when defendant, a developer, owner, and manager of student housing communities, refused to return plaintiff’s rent payments, insisting defendant’s student dorms remain open despite school campuses closing and students being told to return home.
  10. Burgos v. Pennsylvania State University (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 20, 2020) – class action on behalf of all people who paid tuition and fees for the spring 2020 academic semester at the university, alleging students lost the benefit of education and services for tuition and fees paid, without having their tuition and fees refunded to them.
  11. Patel v. University of Vermont (D. Vt. Apr. 21, 2020) – class action on behalf of students after the University of Vermont failed to refund prorated housing and tuition fees after canceling classes due to COVID-19.

II. Prison/Detainee

  1. Nellson v. Barnhart (D. Colo. Mar. 18, 2020) – national class action filed against prison warden and Federal Bureau of Prisons alleging that the failure to adequately screen, test, and isolate prisoners and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak is unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment, and seeking an injunction requiring adequate medical care.
  2. Thompson v. Columbia County (D. Or. Mar. 24, 2020) – class action on behalf of inmates in Columbia County Jail seeking injunctive relief for operating a jail without the capacity to treat or prevent COVID-19.
  3. Savino Hodgson (D. Mass. Mar. 27, 2020) – ICE detainees’ class action seeking release as they are “literally trapped” in the detention center during the COVID-19 pandemic where the facility has allegedly failed to properly address testing, sanitation supplies, protective gear, and medical staffing.
  4. Valentine v. Collier (S.D. Tex. Mar. 30, 2020) – Texas inmate class action challenging lack of access to protective measures including soap and hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic and failure to take proper measures to prevent the spread through the jail.
  5. Williams v. Federal Bureau of Prisons (D.D.C. Apr. 2, 2020) – class action on behalf of prisoners at Hope Village halfway house alleging failure of Federal Bureau of Prisons to provide adequate protections to inmates during the COVID-19 crisis, and seeking the release of sufficient prisoners to avoid overcrowding, provision of cleaning products, and adequate screening.
  6. Money v. Pritzker (N.D. Ill. Apr. 2, 2020) – class action on behalf of prisoners seeking injunctive relief/release of high-risk prisoners to protect the health and safety of inmates, workers, and the broader community.
  7. Bergamaschi v. Cuomo (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 3, 2020) – class action for prisoner civil rights seeking an order from New York to conduct release hearing for more than a thousand prisoners detained in New York City jails for alleged parole violations in light of the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 and the dangerous public health conditions in these facilities.
  8. Mays v. Thomas (N.D. Ill. Apr. 3, 2020) – class action on behalf of inmates of the Cook County Jail for failing to separate those exposed to COVID-19 and failing to comply with recommended health and sanitation measures.
  9. Evenstad Schnell (D. Minn. Apr. 6, 2020) – class action for prisoner civil rights seeking to be considered for early release in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to lessen the spread of the disease in prisons.
  10. Barnes v. Jeffreys (N.D. Ill. Apr. 5, 2020) – class action on behalf of plaintiff sex offender prisoners seeking release, and alleging that defendant’s failure to comply with mandatory supervised release program is unlawfully exposing prisoners to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  11. Graham v. Allegheny County (W.D. Pa. Apr. 7, 2020) – ACLU class action against jail seeking injunctive relief/release of high-risk prisoners.
  12. Carranza v. Reams (D. Colo. Apr. 7, 2020) – class action on behalf of detainees at high risk of suffering complications from COVID-19.
  13. Wilson v. Williams (N.D. Ohio Apr. 13, 2020) – class action seeking the release of “medically vulnerable” detainees at high risk of suffering complications from COVID-19, and of sufficient number of prisoners to permit adequate social distancing.
  14. Cameron v. Bouchard (E.D. Mich. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action seeking immediate release of medically vulnerable subclass of inmates currently incarcerated, and release of any future inmates in same subclass, in the Oakland County Jail due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide adequate safeguards for the health and safety of remaining inmates.
  15. Rivas v. Jennings (N.D. Cal. Apr. 20, 2020) – civil rights class action alleging defendants failed to take necessary steps to protect plaintiffs from COVID-19 while detained at the Yuba County Jail and Mesa Verde ICE Processing Facility and requesting release of enough detainees to ensure social distancing requirements are being met.
  16. McPherson v. Lamont (D. Conn. Apr. 20, 2020) – class action on behalf of at-risk inmates seeking release from correctional facility or providing plaintiffs with appropriate social distancing and protective equipment.
  17. Rodriguez v. Archambeault (S.D. Cal. Apr. 21, 2020) – class action on behalf of inmates at the Otay Mesa Detention Center challenging ICE’s continued detention of plaintiffs under alleged conditions making social distancing impossible.

III. Product Labeling

  1. David v. Vi-Jon Inc. (S.D. Cal. Mar. 5, 2020 ) – consumer class action alleging hand sanitizer manufacturer Germ-X falsely claims the product can fight the novel coronavirus, prompting consumers to purchase its brand.
  2. Miller v. GOJO Industries Inc. (N.D. Ohio Mar. 13, 2020) – class action for alleged deceptive marketing based on representations that Purell hand sanitizer “kills 99.99% of illness causing germs,” is “2X” more powerful than competitors’ products, and helps prevent infection and diseases.
  3. Taslakian v. Target Corp. (C.D. Cal. Mar. 20, 2020) – class action alleging the Target-brand hand sanitizer is falsely advertised as killing “99.99% of germs” and preventing viruses such as the novel coronavirus.
  4. DiBartolo v. GOJO Industries Inc. (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 24, 2020) – class action alleging advertising of Purell brand and Advanced Hand Sanitizer is misleading and puts consumers, particularly in light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in danger by instilling a false belief that the sanitizers are an effective substitute for hand washing and other types of disinfecting.

IV. Privacy

  1. Cullen v. Zoom Video Communications Inc. (N.D. Cal. Mar. 30, 2020) – class action on behalf of plaintiffs who allege that Zoom failed to properly safeguard the personal information of the increasing millions of users of its software application and videoconferencing platform during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  2. Ohlweiler v. Zoom Video Communications Inc. (C.D. Cal. Apr. 3, 2020) – class action against Zoom for its sale of consumers’ private information without their knowledge or permission while advertising end-to-end encryption.

V. Securities

  1. Douglas v. Norwegian Cruise Lines (S.D. Fla. Mar. 12, 2020) – securities class action accusing Norwegian Cruise Lines of inflating the company’s stock price through allegedly false or misleading statements made by the company and its employees indicating a positive outlook for the company despite the coronavirus outbreak.
  2. McDermid v. Inovio Pharmaceuticals (E.D. Pa. Mar. 12, 2020) – securities class action alleging the company misled investors and the public by claiming to have developed a COVID-19 vaccine on national television in a matter of three hours.
  3. Atachbarian v. Norwegian Cruise Lines (S.D. Fla. Mar. 31, 2020) – class action for securities fraud alleging cruise line made false and misleading statements, which artificially inflated its stock price, and engaged in misleading and dangerous sales pitches by providing its representatives with inaccurate sales scripts to respond to customers’ concerns about the coronavirus.
  4. Drieu v. Zoom Video Communications Inc. (N.D. Cal. Apr. 7. 2020) – securities class action alleging investors were misled from the date of Zoom’s IPO in April 2019 through April 2020 about the encryption capabilities of the company’s platform and hid the truth from the public until the COVID-19 pandemic exposed privacy issues and resulted in a series of corrective disclosures, which caused its stock to plummet.
  5. Riback v. iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 15, 2020) – securities stock-drop class action alleging company defaulted on a $4.4 million interest payment and attributed the default to the “decline in the overall public equity cannabis markets” and market conditions related to COVID-19.
  6. Finch v. iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 20, 2020) – securities stock-drop class action alleging company defaulted on a $4.4 million interest payment and attributed the default to the “decline in the overall public equity cannabis markets” and market conditions related to COVID-19.

VI. Gyms/Fitness Centers

  1. Namorato v. Town Sports International LLC (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 26, 2020) – class action claiming the gym is still charging membership fees and not honoring cancellation requests even though the gym’s locations are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Brenda Labib v. 24 Hour Fitness USA Inc. (N.D. Cal. Mar. 27, 2020) – class action for failure to refund monthly membership fees of about $69.99 despite the gym being closed due to the coronavirus, and alleging violations of California statutes, breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation.
  3. Barnett v. Fitness International LLC (S.D. Fla. Mar. 30, 2020) – national class action alleging gym was unjustly enriched and committed negligence in failing to refund $15 to the plaintiff (and the class members) for two weeks in March 2020, upon closing the gym to protect its members and the public from the COVID-19 threat.
  4. Jampol v. Blink Holdings Inc. (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 2, 2020) – class action relating to the refusal to suspend memberships during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. Delvecchio v. Town Sports International LLC (D. Mass. Apr. 5, 2020) – alleging violation of consumer protection laws and breach of contract claim for failure to allow cancellations amid gym closures amid COVID-19 outbreak; follow regulatory scrutiny Town Sports International.
  6. Hunt v. Fitness Evolution Inc. (N.D. Cal. Apr. 10, 2020) – class action alleging gym is unlawfully continuing to charge customers monthly membership fees while gyms are closed due to COVID-19.
  7. Weiser v. Corepower Yoga LLC (C.D. Cal. Apr. 15, 2020) – class action alleging failure to refund monthly membership fees after closing all its yoga studios during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VII. Cruise Line Negligence Class Actions

  1. Weissberger Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. (C.D. Cal. Mar. 9, 2020) – class action alleging Princess Cruises was negligent in knowingly allowing new passengers on board after passengers from a previous voyage disembarked with coronavirus symptoms.
  2. Dalton v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. (C.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2020) – class action asserting negligence and gross negligence claims based on the allegation that Grand Princess had knowledge that at least one passenger from a prior cruise had symptoms of COVID-19 and continued to sail the next cruise without proper screening protocols or adequate warning of potential exposure.
  3. Sheedy v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. (C.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2020) – negligence class action alleging Princess Cruises made a conscious decision to sail a voyage on the Grand Princess, which was known to have been exposed to COVID-19 patients.
  4. Austin v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. (C.D. Cal. Mar. 17, 2020) – class action alleging that the cruise line negligently exposed the class to the risk of getting sick aboard a ship infected with the novel coronavirus by intentionally setting sail on a new voyage after knowing at least one passenger from a previous voyage displayed symptoms.
  5. Turner v. Costa Crociere SPA (S.D. Fla. Apr. 7, 2020) – class action alleging Costa Cruises negligently allowed the Costa Luminosa to sail knowing a previous passenger showed symptoms of COVID-19, resulting in 2,000 passengers getting on board a “ticking coronavirus time bomb.”
  6. Archer v. Carnival Corp. (N.D. Cal. Apr. 8, 2020) – class action alleging negligence and gross negligence for failure to take precautions to prevent a coronavirus outbreak on the ship after two passengers on the previous sailing disembarked with symptoms.
  7. Nedeltcheva v. Celebrity Cruises Inc. (S.D. Fla. Apr. 14, 2020) – negligence class action by crew members alleging defendant failed to establish and follow adequate safety measures after learning of coronavirus exposures on its ships.

VIII. Tickets/Venues/Entertainment

  1. Douglas v. EF Institute for Cultural Exchange Inc. (Cal. Sup. Ct. Mar. 11, 2020) – seeking injunctive relief, alleging violations of California consumer protection statutes related to the cancellation of thousands of tours sold by EF defendants and based on a “no public health emergency cash refund policy.”
  2. Grabovsky v. EF Institute for Cultural Exchange Inc. (S.D. Cal. Mar. 17, 2020) – class action alleging violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act for failure to give a cash refund after educational trip was canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
  3. Rutledge v. Do LaB Inc.(Cal. Sup. Ct. Mar. 24, 2020) – class action for failure to refund tickets to the Lighting in a Bottle music festival after it was canceled in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  4. McMillan v. StubHub Inc. (W.D. Wis. Apr. 2, 2020) – class action against StubHub for refusing to refund ticket holders for events canceled due to the pandemic and changing its policy to issue coupons instead of a monetary refund.
  5. Carisi v. Events & Adventures California (N.D. Cal. Apr. 4, 2020) – class action claiming that the companies wrongfully charged members a monthly fee despite all in-person events being canceled due to the pandemic.
  6. Mitchell v. NurseCon at Sea LLC (S.D. Fla. Apr. 8, 2020) – class action for unfair debt collection, unjust enrichment, and conversion filed on behalf of attendees of NurseCon after Royal Caribbean’s refusal to refund the event, which was canceled due to COVID-19.
  7. Ruiz v. Magic Mountain LLC (C.D. Cal. Apr. 13, 2020) – national class action asserting statutory claims against theme parks for continuing to assess monthly charges to season ticket holders while parks are closed.
  8. Alcaraz v. StubHub Inc. (N.D. Cal. Apr. 14, 2020) – national class action with California subclass alleging StubHub refused to refund ticket holders for events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic under company’s FanProtect Guarantee, instead providing 120% of ticket price credit.
  9. Jimenez v. Do LaB Inc. (C.D. Cal. Apr. 14, 2020) – class action alleging defendant retained ticket and amenities’ fees after canceling Lightning in a Bottle festival.
  10. Kramer v. Alterra Mountain Co. (D. Colo. Apr. 14, 2020) – class action alleging defendant ski facilities failed to refund season passholders after the season was shortened due to the novel coronavirus.
  11. Steijn v. Alterra Mountain Co. U.S. Inc. (C.D. Cal. Apr. 16, 2020) – class action, with a Californian subclass, alleging defendant ski facilities failed to refund season passholders after the season was shortened due to the novel coronavirus.
  12. Hansen v. Ticketmaster (N.D. Cal. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action on behalf of ticket purchasers who used defendants’ website before March 30, 2020, to purchase tickets for future events but were denied refunds after the cancellation of the ticketed events and alleging defendants unlawfully changed website’s terms of use and user agreement.
  13. Ajzenman v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball (C.D. Cal. Apr. 20, 2020) – consumer class action against Major League Baseball, the teams comprising MLB, and MLB ticket merchants who refuse to refund money to MLB fans who purchased tickets for the 2020 MLB season.

IX. Price Gouging

  1. Armas v. Amazon.com Inc. (Fla. Cir. Ct. Mar. 10, 2020) – class action alleging Amazon engaged in price gouging in violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act by charging grossly unconscionable prices for toilet paper and hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
  2. State of Alaska v. Aune (Alaska Sup. Ct. Apr. 1 2020) – alleging that Aune engaged in a price gouging scheme by purchasing thousands of COVID-19 masks and selling them for a profit. Selling packs of N95 masks for between $59.99 and $89.99 after purchasing them for just over $20 per pack.
  3. Fisher v. Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (N.D. Cal. Apr. 20, 2020) – class action alleging unfair business practices after defendants allegedly marked up egg prices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

X. Airlines

  1. Rudolph v. United Airlines Holdings Inc. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 6, 2020) – class action alleging violations of consumer protection laws by refusing to refund passengers for canceled flights but instead only rebooking or providing vouchers that expire within a year of the original ticket date.
  2. Utley v. United Airlines Holdings Inc. (N.D. Ohio Apr. 6, 2020) – class action lawsuit claiming that passengers are being denied refunds for flights canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  3. Compo v. United Airlines Inc.(N.D. Ill. Apr. 6, 2020) – class action seeking refunds for canceled flights due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  4. Levey v. Concesionaria Vuela Compania de Aviacion (N.D. Ill. Apr. 8, 2020) – proposed class action alleging Mexican airline quietly canceled several of its United States to Mexico flights amid the coronavirus pandemic and refused to refund travelers or allow them to rebook without a penalty.
  5. Hill v. Spirit Airlines (S.D. Fla. Apr. 10, 2020) – nationwide breach of contract class action alleging airline failed to provide refunds for flights canceled as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
  6. Daversa-Evdyriadis v. Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (C.D. Cal. Apr. 13, 2020) – class action lawsuit alleging defendants failed to provide full refunds to customers whose flights were canceled as a result of the pandemic.
  7. Bombin v. Southwest Airlines Co. (E.D. Pa. Apr. 13, 2020) – class action alleging airline unlawfully issued credits rather than refunds related to flights canceled as a result of COVID-19.
  8. Herr v. Allegiant Air LLC (E.D. Mich. Apr. 15, 2020) – class action alleging defendant failed to provide full refunds to customers whose flights were canceled as a result of the pandemic.
  9. Roman v. JetBlue Airways Corp. (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 16, 2020) – class action for breach of contract based on airline’s offer of credits, rather than refunds of flights.
  10. Daniels v. Delta Air Lines Inc. (N.D. Ga. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action alleging unfair trade practices and unjust enrichment based on defendant’s policy to issue travel vouchers or rebookings instead of refunds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  11. Manchur v. Spirit Airlines Inc. (D. Mass. Apr. 21, 2020) – class action for conversion after defendant offered flight credits instead of refunds for flights canceled as a result of COVID-19.
  12. Obertman v. Frontier Airlines Inc. (E.D. Cal. Apr. 21, 2020) – consumer protection class action against defendants for canceling flights and only offering travel credits instead of refunds due to COVID-19.

XI. Employment

  1. Verhines v. Uber Technologies Inc. (Cal. Sup. Ct. Mar. 12, 2020; removed to N.D. Cal. Mar. 17, 2020) – California class action seeking an injunction requiring Uber to classify all drivers who work in California as employees, rather than independent contractors, and to provide paid sick leave pursuant to California statute.
  2. Rogers v. Lyft (Cal. Sup. Ct. Mar. 12, 2020) – class action alleging defendant failed to provide paid sick leave despite the spread of COVID-19, resulting in the drivers feeling compelled to continue working even if they feel ill.
  3. Siers v. Velodyne Lidar Inc. (N.D. Cal. Apr. 3, 2020) – class action alleging defendant unlawfully terminated more than 140 employees with one day’s written notice, and its representation that layoffs were due to COVID-19 was inconsistent with defendant’s recent business activities.
  4. Olsen v. Ratner Companies L.C. (D.N.J. Apr. 7, 2020) – class and collective action under New Jersey law and the FLSA seeking unpaid wages on behalf of Hair Cuttery stylists after salons were closed nationwide due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. Scott v. Hooters III Inc. (M.D. Fla. Apr. 16, 2020) – class action alleging defendant terminated plaintiffs and approximately 679 class members upon closing offices and restaurants because of the COVID-19 pandemic, without providing required advance written notice under the WARN Act.

XII. Government

A. China Cases

  1. Alters v. People’s Republic of China (S.D. Fla. Mar. 12, 2020) – Florida plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the coronavirus outbreak was due to China’s mishandling of the outbreak and created an international pandemic.
  2. Buzz Photos v. People’s Republic of China (N.D. Tex. Mar. 17, 2020) – class action against the Chinese government for the release of COVID-19 as a biological weapon in violation of international treaties and for failing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the United States.
  3. Bella Vista LLC v. People’s Republic of China (D. Nev. Mar. 23, 2020) – U.S. class action alleging that the government of China engaged in an intentional cover-up by misleading the international community about the health and economic consequences of COVID-19.
  4. Bourque CPAs and Advisors Inc. v. People’s Republic of China (C.D. Cal. Mar. 27, 2020) – small business owner class action seeking damages suffered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic based on the Chinese government’s alleged intentional cover-up and subsequent spread to the global community.
  5. Aharon v. People’s Republic of China (S.D. Fla. Apr. 8, 2020) – class action by U.S. medical care workers and a Florida subclass alleging China has unlawfully stockpiled personal protective equipment, asserting claims based on negligence, battery and civil assault, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  6. Cardiff Prestige Property Inc. v. People’s Republic of China (C.D. Cal. Apr. 8, 2020) – class action asserting tort claims and alleging that China concealed the COVID-19 outbreak and intimidated Chinese doctors, scientists, and reporters who tried to alert the public, resulting in a global pandemic and recession.
  7. Azelea Woods of Ouachita v. People’s Republic of China (W.D. La. Apr. 14, 2020) – Louisiana businesses’ class action against the Chinese government for engaging in an alleged cover-up related to the novel coronavirus, which spread worldwide, including the state of Louisiana, causing substantial monetary and related damages to business owners.

B. Federal Workers

  1. Alaska State Employees Association v. State of Alaska (Alaska Sup. Ct. Mar. 24, 2020) – union of public employees seek injunctive relief relating to the state’s alleged refusal to allow employees to enter into telecommuting agreements, failure to make changes to shift schedules to allow adequate social distancing, failure to permit teleconferencing and modification of workspaces, failure to provide appropriate personal protective equipment, and failure to follow CDC guidelines by allowing more than 10 people to work together in small spaces. Update: On March 31, 2020, Superior Court Judge Thomas Matthews denied the association’s request for a TRO that requested the closure of certain state offices.
  2. Braswell v. United States of America (Fed. Cl. Mar. 27, 2020) – class action filed by government workers in close proximity to people or objects infected by COVID-19 in their workplace against the federal government alleging they should receive hazard pay for work done to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.

C. Takings/Other

  1. Schulmerich Bells LLC v. Wolf (E.D. Pa. Mar. 26, 2020) – class action alleging that the Pennsylvania governor’s failure to provide financial aid to small businesses and workers when ordering a COVID-19 closure represented a violation of the Fifth Amendment “Takings Clause.”
  2. Black Voters Matter Fund v. Raffensperger (N.D. Ga. Apr. 8, 2020) – statewide class action against the state of Georgia alleging that the requirement that voters pay postage for mail-in ballots is an unconstitutional poll tax exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which unfairly impacts marginalized voters.
  3. Roberts v. Neace (E.D. Ky. Apr. 14, 2020) – class action against governor of Kentucky, brought by Kentuckians served with public health notices to self-quarantine after attending Easter Sunday church services, despite the issuance of emergency statewide social distancing orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. Banes v. City of Houston (Tex. Harris Cty. Dist. Ct. Apr. 14, 2020) – class action by homeowners seeking to enjoin a project whose construction runs through their neighborhood based, in part, on allegations that the project is violating orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic and compounding the risk of the novel coronavirus spreading in plaintiffs’ community.
  5. Solis v. Hilco Redevelopment LLC (N.D. Ill. Apr. 15, 2020) – environmental class action asserting claims based on negligence and race discrimination related to the demolition of a smokestack that allegedly caused a “toxic plume” causing plaintiffs to suffer property damage and personal injury “particularly concerning” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  6. Kling v. World Health Organization (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 20, 2020) – class action brought by plaintiffs on behalf of all adult persons in the county of Westchester, New York, alleging the World Health Organization committed gross negligence in failing to timely declare a public health emergency, failing to properly monitor the response to the pandemic in China, and failing to timely promulgate treatment and response to its member nations.

XIII. Insurance – Business Interruption Coverage

  1. Billy Goat Tavern I Inc. v. Society Insurance (N.D. Ill. Mar. 31, 2020) – class action comprising a group of pubs and bars in Chicago alleging insurer improperly denied coverage claims for business interruption.
  2. El Novillo Restaurant v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London (S.D. Fla. Apr. 9, 2020) – class action alleging failure to cover claims for loss of business income and seeking a declaratory judgment affirming that the pandemic has already caused property loss and damage and underwriter defendants are liable for losses suffered by policyholders.
  3. Torre Rossa LLC v Liberty Mutual Insurance (Ohio Cuyahoga Cty. Ct. Com. Pl. Apr. 15, 2020) – class action on behalf of restaurants that were denied coverage under their insurance policies’ business income, extra-expense, or civil authority coverage sections for losses related to shutdown from the pandemic.
  4. PTG Live Events LLC v. Cincinnati Insurance Co. (Wis. Cir. Ct. Apr. 15, 2020) – class action for denial of business interruption claims after class members ceased operations of restaurants and other event/hospitality services to comply with the governor’s order to slow the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. Colectivo Coffee Roasters Inc. v. Society Insurance (Wis. Cir. Ct. Apr. 16, 2020) – class action for denial of claims for business interruption and other coverage after class complied with the governor’s order to slow the COVID-19 pandemic.
  6. Bridal Expressions LLC v. Owners Insurance Co. (N.D. Ohio Apr. 17, 2020) – class action on behalf of businesses for defendant’s alleged refusal to pay its insureds under its business income and extra expense coverages for losses due to COVID-19.
  7. Gio Pizzeria & Bar Hospitality LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action on behalf of businesses insured by defendant based on alleged refusal to pay business income losses and other losses suffered due to COVID-19.
  8. Rising Dough Inc. v Society Insurance (E.D. Wis. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action on behalf of nationwide classes insured by defendant for business income and other coverage, where defendant denied claims after the businesses were ordered to suspend or reduce business on orders of state governors due to COVID-19.
  9. Berkseth-Rojas DDS v. Aspen American Insurance Co. (N.D. Tex. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action on behalf of business classes where defendant allegedly denied claims after suspension of plaintiff’s practice on orders of state governor due to COVID-19.
  10. HTR Restaurants Inc. v. Erie Insurance Exchange (Allegheny Cty. Ct. Com. Pl. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action on behalf of similarly situated businesses’ loss of business income after defendant denied coverage.
  11. Dakota Ventures LLC v. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co. (D. Or. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action on behalf of similarly situated businesses whose claims for loss of business income and other coverage were denied by defendant after class members were forced to suspend or reduce business at restaurants due to COVID-19 and the executive orders issued by the governor of Washington.
  12. Caribe Restaurant & Nightclub Inc. v. Topa Insurance Co. (C.D. Cal. Apr. 17, 2020) – class action on behalf of businesses insured by defendant based on alleged refusal to pay its insureds under business income and other coverages for losses suffered due to COVID-19.
  13. PGB Restaurant Inc. v. Erie Insurance Co. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 19, 2020) – class action on behalf of Illinois businesses offering food or beverages for on-premises consumption with income protection coverage purchased from defendant, and where insurer denied coverage for lost income resulting from the suspension of all dine-in operations at restaurants because of COVID-19 and the governor’s executive orders.
  14. Troy Stacy Enterprises Inc. v. Cincinnati Insurance Co. (S.D. Ohio Apr. 20, 2020) – class action based on defendant’s alleged failure to pay claims for business income and related coverage where civil authority order required the closure of non-essential businesses due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  15. Cafe International Holding Co. v. Chubb Ltd. (S.D. Fla. Apr. 20, 2020) – class action for breach of contract based on failure of defendant to cover allegedly insured business losses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  16. Truhaven Enterprises Inc. v. Chubb Ltd. (D.N.J. Apr. 20, 2020) – class action alleging defendants wrongfully failed to cover plaintiff’s losses incurred due to the precautionary measures taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  17. Mikkelson DDS v. Aspen American Insurance Co. (W.D. Wash. Apr. 20, 2020) – class action seeking business disruption coverage for plaintiffs’ dental practice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

XIV. Financial Services Foreclosure and CARES Act Claims

  1. Shuff v. Bank of America, N.A. (S.D. W.Va. Mar. 16, 2020) – class action to stop all foreclosures in West Virginia arising out of allegedly predatory lending practices from 2005, but relying on the COVID-19 pandemic for stopping foreclosure sales as improper.
  2. Profiles Inc. v. Bank of America Corp. (D. Md. Apr. 3, 2020) – class action by small business alleging Bank of America unlawfully prioritized existing clients when awarding Paycheck Protection Program loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and barred certain clients and other small businesses from applying for aid because they did not hold a loan previously with the bank. Update: On April 13, 2020, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a TRO, allowing Bank of America to continue participating in the program with its current procedures. Plaintiffs intend to appeal.
  3. Kennard Law P.C. v. Frost Bank (Tex. Harris Co. Dist. Ct. Apr. 18, 2020) – class action on behalf of businesses that applied for loans through the CARES Act at defendant’s bank, based on bank’s allegedly improper decision to prioritize select customers and bigger businesses for approval to the detriment of class members.
  4. BSJA Inc. v Wells Fargo & Co. (C.D. Cal. Apr. 19, 2020) – class action on behalf of all businesses in the state of California that met the criteria for receiving a loan under the CARES Act but did not receive funds because the defendant allegedly prioritized loan applications seeking higher loan amounts to generate higher fees rather than processing applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
  5. Outlet Tile Center v. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (C.D. Cal. Apr. 20, 2020) – class action filed on behalf of small businesses alleging that they failed to apply for or receive funds under the CARES Act based on defendant’s misrepresentations.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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