First Look: Spring 2021 Newsletter

In the wake of government shutdowns necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, insureds filed business-interruption and other claims with their commercial-liability insurers. As insurers denied those claims, insureds filed suit, creating a nationwide spate of cases involving business-interruption coverage. Plaintiffs in many of those cases have attempted to obtain consolidation and centralization of the cases in a multi-district litigation, or MDL.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPMDL”) was created in 1968 to centralize similar litigation pending in different federal district courts. The JPMDL may consolidate civil cases “involving one or more common questions of fact” in one district for pretrial proceedings, provided the transfer would further “the convenience of parties and witnesses” and “promote the just and efficient conduct of such actions.” These MDLs are presided over by either a circuit or district court judge. “[A]t or before the conclusion of” pretrial proceedings in the MDL, the JPMDL remands the individual cases to their transferor districts. The JPMDL may transfer and consolidate actions on its own initiative or upon motion filed “by a party in any action in which transfer for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings under this section may be appropriate.”...

Please see full Newsletter below for more information.

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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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