We can all likely agree that, at this point, there are not very many things left unaffected by the ongoing health crisis. However, one of the most negatively affected populations have been business owners who were forced to shut down, resulting in significant losses of income.
These losses have resulted in numerous lawsuits filed against insurers across the country due to denied claims. Insurers have almost unanimously chosen to refuse coverage for pandemic related loss based on two issues. First, it is their position that a business is not damaged or limited access to insured property by any government action. Second, many policies contain an exclusion of coverage for any loss related to virus. Many business owners with pending cases have filed a Motion for Transfer requesting that the case be moved to either Pennsylvania or Illinois district court, and consolidated into one with other like cases.
The purpose of the Motions for Consolidation and Motions to Transfer is to speed up the litigation process. Multiple cases in multiple jurisdictions and districts can cause significant delays for these business owners. In a time where business owners are struggling to stay afloat, any delay in a court decision which could provide much needed revenue is unnacceptable. In addition, multiple decisions with conflicting results across the country would likely cause unnecessary confusion and even further delay.
Some business owners are not completely in agreement with a consolidation within Pennsylvania or Illinois courts, and have suggested that cases instead be consolidated in other districts. Others are not in favor of consolidation at all. They believe each case is too different for them all to be argued together. Regardless of your stance on the issue, if you are a business owner who has been denied insurance coverage for pandemic losses, it is of utmost importance that you consult with an attorney immediately who can make sure your case gets included in any consolidation to take place. This will likely result in a far more rapid outcome and potentially payment.