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The arrival of the novel Coronavirus - COVID-19 - has raised new insurance coverage questions, concerns and challenges. SDV is here to help, providing a resource page for our clients and business partners to find up-to-the-minute resources to help them navigate this rapidly changing landscape.

In an effort to assist policyholders with keeping track of insurance coverage for Coronavirus - COVID-19 claims, SDV has put together an interactive maps where clients and business partners can easily find out what courts have issued judicial decisions, brief summary of such decisions as well as active litigation cases, reopening orders and legislative activity due to COVID-19. SDV trusts these tools will help them navigate this rapidly changing landscape.


CLICK HERE for the Active Litigation Cases, Reopening Orders and Legislative Activity Due to COVID-19


40 Dismissed with Prejudice Rulings
16 Re-File Complaint Rulings
11 Moves Forward to Discovery Rulings
1 Policyholder Wins - Summary Judgment Granted

Click on the state(s) below for more detail

State rulings exist        No coverage rulings


Disclaimer: This material is made available for general informational purposes only. The information provided in SDV's "Daily Covid-19 Update" is indicative only and non-exhaustive. Readers are advised to independently verify the information contained herein. This material is not intended to, and does not constitute, legal advice, nor is it intended to constitute a solicitation for the formation of an attorney- client relationship. Please note, SDV does not represent any parties mentioned within the "Active Cases" section of this update.


Disclaimer: This material is made available for general informational purposes only. The information provided in SDV's "Coverage Rulings by Insurance Group" is indicative only and non-exhaustive. Readers are advised to independently verify the information contained herein. This material is not intended to, and does not constitute, legal advice, nor is it intended to constitute a solicitation for the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Please note, SDV does not represent any parties mentioned within the "Coverage Rulings by Insurance Group" section of this update.





New Jersey Court Sees Potential in Optical Services COVID-19 Coverage Suit

In Optical Services USA/JCI v. Franklin Mut. Ins. Co.,1 the New Jersey Superior Court denied the insurer's motion to dismiss the policyholders' COVID-19 coverage suit. The Plaintiffs in this case were optometrists' offices forced to close by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's Executive Order No. 107, which temporarily shut down non-essential businesses to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey.

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The Future of Pandemic Coverage for Real Estate Owners and Developers

Shutdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted an unprecedented number of business income and business interruption insurance claims. Many claims have resulted in litigation and require judicial intervention to determine whether private insurance carriers owe policyholders indemnification for pandemic related losses.

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Fungi, Wet Rot, Dry Rot and "Virus": One of These Things is Not Like the Other

The Hartford's so-called virus exclusion in its commercial property forms is getting a workout, and policyholders now have an argument that may help their cases move past the pleadings stage. A U.S. District Court in Florida has deemed the exclusion ambiguous and denied an insurer's motion to dismiss.

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Preventing Pitfalls in Policyholder Pandemic Pleadings: Lessons Learned from Recent Restaurant Rulings

Recently, federal courts in California and Florida dismissed claims brought by restauranteurs against their insurance companies after the insurers denied business-interruption coverage for losses related to COVID-19 quarantine orders. In both cases, the courts held that the policyholders had not sufficiently alleged that their properties had suffered "direct physical loss or damage," as required by both policies to trigger coverage.

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U.K. High Court COVID-19 Victory for Policyholders May Set a Trend in the U.S.

On September 15, 2020, in a matter entitled The Financial Conduct Authority v. Arch & Others1, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, the equivalent of a trial court in the U.S., issued a ruling on a COVID-19 business interruption insurance case (the "Judgment"). Significantly, the Court sided with policyholders on most key coverage issues under specific non-damage business interruption insurance coverage forms

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Required Disclosures and Notifications of Employee COVID-19 Exposure

As businesses reopen amid rising COVID-19 cases, employers must navigate through the hurdles of maintaining a safe workplace during a pandemic.

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The Next Wave: COVID-19 Workers Compensation and General Liability Claims Likely to Spike

To state the obvious, the global "COVID-19" pandemic has resulted in substantial financial losses for many businesses and furloughed workers. Forced shutdowns, lower consumer demand, and reduced capacity/shortened hours of operation have translated to lower revenues for many companies, causing them to make hard decisions. These tough choices include cost-cutting measures (layoffs or furloughs), bankruptcy restructuring, or even permanent closure.

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COVID-19 Win for Policyholders! Court Approves "Direct Physical Loss" Argument

A Missouri federal district court recently provided a significant victory for insurance policyholders for COVID-19 losses. In Studio 417, Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company 6:20-cv-03127-SRB (W.D. MO, So. Div., Aug. 12, 2020), the Court was called upon to decide whether allegations involving the presence of COVID-19 in and around physical structures qualifies as "direct physical loss or damage" to covered property.

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Event Cancellation Insurance During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Key Strategies

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented number of event cancellations ranging from travel and tourism, hotel and hospitality, corporate conferences, outdoor festivals, as well as many other events. By far, one of the largest industries impacted by COVID-19 is the hospitality industry.

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State Initiatives to Expand Workers' Compensation for COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous states have mounted initiatives to expand access to Workers' Compensation benefits for workers affected by COVID-19, with new states joining every day. Among the states that have addressed the issue to date are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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COVID-19 Insurance and Nonprofits: The Case for Coverage

The cancellation of events producing income, galas and other fundraising events, the furloughing and quarantining of employees and volunteers, and the prospect of possible third-party liability claims have all caused considerable financial strains for many nonprofit entities, in recent weeks, thanks to the COVID-19 crisis. Insurance coverage can help nonprofits weather the storm but getting past initial insurer denials or reservations of rights can require both know-how and considerable work.

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COVID-19 Shutdown? Beware of the Vacancy Provision in your Property Policy!

As the nation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, bars and restaurants across the nation were shut down by local or state edict with no known re-opening date in sight. Beware of the (no) vacancy provision! Almost every commercial property policy has some variation of a vacancy or unoccupancy provision.

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COVID-19 Related Exposures Facing Franchise Systems

Most franchise systems are facing severe financial impacts as a result of the continued spread of COVID-19 and the numerous government-mandated shutdowns that have been ordered by state and local officials in response. Even if your franchised operations are considered essential and able to remain open during the shut-down, franchisees may have exposures, in addition to a loss of revenue, which may further impact franchisors.

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Zoom-Bombing Leads to Securities Suit: Assessing D&O Coverage for Event-Driven Securities Class Action Suits in the Wake of COVID-19

COVID-19 has impacted businesses large and small across the country. Some companies predict that their services or products will be in higher demand, and anticipate marked financial success in the coming months, while others brace for collapse. Either scenario creates a potential liability: the risk of misrepresentation or improper disclosure to investors about the company's outlook, financial health, capabilities, or any information that influences investor decisions.

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Ontario Court Finds Coverage for Business Interruption Under an "All-risk" Policy; Gives Hope to Policyholders with COVID-19 Loss-of-Use Claims

On March 30, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its opinion in the MDS, Inc. et al v. Factory Mutual Insurance Company case. While the case is favorable to policyholders with business interruption claims under "all risk" policies, attorneys representing policyholders are particularly excited as Justice Wilson's adoption of broad interpretation of "resulting physical damage" may be very useful in pursuing coverage for business interruption losses related to COVID-19 exposures.

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COVID-19 Business Interruption Battle Continues: Florida Insureds File Suit Joining the Fight for Coverage

Several businesses have commenced litigation in Florida against first-party commercial property insurers seeking coverage for business interruption losses resulting from state and local government orders enacted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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Are COVID-19 Claims Covered by Builders Risk Insurance Policies?

If you are an attorney, insurance broker, or other professional representing developers and contractors, then your clients have likely reached out with concerns about losses related to COVID-19. One common question is whether there is potential coverage under builders risk insurance policies.

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Louisiana, Pennsylvania and South Carolina Consider Legislation to Insure Coverage for COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses

Louisiana, Pennsylvania and South Carolina are considering legislation that would mandate coverage under property policies for business interruption losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. These states join the growing group of states that are considering enacting such legislation, which now includes New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio and New York.

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Policyholders Claim Bad Faith in COVID-19 Litigation

When submitting an insurance claim for losses due to COVID-19, the policyholder's rightful expectation is that their insurer will handle their claim fairly and in good faith. However, a growing collection of lawsuits allege that certain insurers are not living up to this expectation and are denying coronavirus-related claims in bad faith.

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Congress Considers Pandemic Risk Insurance Act to Address COVID-19 Business Interruptions Losses

The draft legislation, entitled the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 ("PRIA"), would establish a Federal Pandemic Risk Reinsurance Fund and Program (the "Program"), that is intended to provide a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption ("BI") losses resulting from a pandemic or outbreak of communicable disease.

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Illinois Insureds are Contesting One Carrier's Universal Denial to Covid-19 Losses

In response to the large number of COVID-19-related losses that businesses are experiencing, insurers have begun issuing statements informing their insureds of whether their policies will respond to the losses, and if so, what coverage will be afforded. Insurers cannot take a "one-size-fits-all" approach to the COVID-19 losses because, besides factual differences, the losses are occurring within all fifty states which means 50 different state law interpretations will apply.

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Advice for Providing Notice for D&O Policies Renewing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic affects companies' economic performance, we anticipate an uptick in Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability claims. Attempts by companies to downplay the effects of supply-chain disruptions or overall performance due to shutdowns are potential minefields for D&O claims

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Virus Exclusion? - Don't Abandon Hope for Coverage Just Yet

Companies across all industries have been deeply impacted by the social-distancing protocols and economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally, competent business owners have looked to their commercial business and property insurance programs to determine what coverage, if any, they may have to offset the financial losses being suffered. To their dismay, many such entities have discovered that their policies specifically exclude losses related to virus.

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Protection of Property/Sue & Labor Coverage May be Available for Coronavirus Costs

One aspect of many first-party property insurance policies that has been largely overlooked in association with the recent Coronavirus outbreak is protection of property coverage. Protection of property coverage, which can be found as a coverage extension or even as a condition in the policy, can take a variety of forms, but generally provides coverage for costs incurred to temporarily protect and preserve the insured property.

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French Laundry Spices Up COVID-19 Business Interruption Debate

On March 26, 2020, Michelin-rated Napa Valley restaurants, French Laundry and Bouchon Bistro, and their celebrity chef, Thomas Keller, filed the second known coronavirus-related declaratory judgment (DJ) lawsuit by a restaurant. The restaurants filed their DJ against Hartford Fire Insurance Company just seven days after Napa County issued a Shelter at Home Order.

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Two More Insureds Ante Up: Oklahoma Tribes Step Up to the Business Interruption Table

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations (the "Nations"), located in Oklahoma, filed separate business interruption coverage lawsuits against their collective group of insurers who allegedly issued "all risk" policies to both Nations.

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New York Joins New Jersey, Massachusetts and Ohio in Discussing Legislation That Would Require Property Insurers To Pay COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims

If approved, New York Draft Assembly Bill A10226 (the "Bill") would require property insurers to cover business interruption losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bill would have immediate retroactive effect applying to property policies containing business interruption and loss of use and occupancy coverage, and in force on March 7, 2020, the date Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency.

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Massachusetts and Ohio Join the Effort to Insure COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses

On March 24, 2020, the Massachusetts and Ohio legislatures proposed bills that would provide insurance coverage to small businesses for business interruption losses sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic. These new developments come less than two weeks after New Jersey became the first state in the nation to introduce legislation on this issue.

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An Insurance Checklist for the Hospitality and Commercial Real Estate Industries in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

No person or industry in the world will go unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Two related industries that are being hit the hardest are the hospitality and the commercial real estate industries. The hospitality industry is comprised of four segments: food and beverage (F&B), travel and tourism, lodging, and recreation. These four segments often overlap with each other and most segments overlap, to some extent, with the commercial real estate industry.

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COVID-19 Business Interruption Challenges

COVID-19 Business Interruption Challenges

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Can Insurers Retroactively Modify Policies to Exclude Coronavirus?

Every day brings new challenges and concerns as the world grapples with the novel coronavirus. Businesses are already looking to their insurance portfolio as a way to lessen the anticipated impact on their bottom line. Policyholder and insurer side litigators alike seem to agree that we will likely see coronavirus-related coverage issues litigated for years, long after the pandemic has been contained.

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Coverage Implications for COVID-19 Project Shutdowns

Boston's recent decision to temporarily shut down city construction projects has many in the industry asking what impact, if any, a COVID-19 related shutdown would have on project insurance.

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Crisis Coverage in Response to Coronavirus: Give Notice IMMEDIATELY

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COVID-19 Business Interruption Lawsuits Begin: Iconic Oceana Grill in New Orleans Files Insurance Coverage Lawsuit

On Monday, the iconic New Orleans restaurant, Oceana Grill, filed the first Coronavirus-related business interruption insurance coverage lawsuit in a US jurisdiction. The declaratory judgment action styled Cajun Conti, LLC, et. al. d/b/a Oceana Grill v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London was filed in Louisiana state court for the Parish of Orleans.

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To our Clients, Colleagues and Friends

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New Jersey Discussing Legislation That Would Require Property Insurers To Pay Coronavirus Business Interruption Claims

New Jersey is discussing draft legislation that would require certain property insurers to provide coverage for business interruption losses resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic. If approved, N.J. Draft Bill A-3844 (the "Bill") would have immediate effect and apply retroactively to insurance policies in force on March 9, 2020 that insure against loss or damage to property and include loss of use and occupancy and business interruption coverage.

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Policyholders' Coverage Checklist in Times of Coronavirus

The unprecedented social and economic impact of the Coronavirus makes it necessary for policyholders to keep open all lines of communications with their insurance brokers, insurance carriers, financial advisors, safety & compliance experts, and insurance coverage counsel even if it is not certain whether they will need to file insurance claims.

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Coronavirus and Business Interruption Coverage for Policyholders

With a death toll of more than 2,700 and more than 80,000 infected, Policyholders' measures and governmental efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus has interrupted business and disrupted supply chains worldwide. Policyholders fearing the threat of the Coronavirus to their normal business operations should review if their first-party insurance would respond to the Coronavirus threat.

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SDV is based in Connecticut, conveniently located between New York City and Boston, with regional offices in Florida and California to better serve our clients. We're ready to answer your questions and eager to assist you in developing solutions.