Chamber Litigation Blog

October 19, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Giles Judd, Ryan Martin-Patterson, and J. Stephen Tagert, Alston & Bird LLP

Pandemic-related case filings jumped noticeably this past week, with significant new litigation across many industries asserting a wide variety of claims.

October 13, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Ryan Martin-Patterson, and Kaelyne Wietelman, Alston & Bird LLP

This past week’s big news centered around MDLs (multi-district litigation).  In Illinois, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized 34 lawsuits alleging denial of coverage by Society Insurance Co., but declined to centralize groups of cases against several other insurers.  And, two different MDLs were formed to centralize cases alleging wrongful refusal to refund canceled ski passes.

October 9, 2020

Jonathan D. Urick, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

Some highlights of this week’s reporting and commentary on COVID-19 litigation include the continued increase in state-court suits, legal challenges to state emergency orders, workplace-vaccination polices, the mask-related dilemma facing businesses, and recent decisions on contractual defenses.

October 5, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Ryan Martin-Patterson, and Kaelyne Wietelman

Alston & Bird LLP

This week continues a recent trend of fewer noteworthy COVID-19 related cases being filed, although there was still a broad diversity of claims raised in new lawsuits.

October 2, 2020

Jonathan D. Urick, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

Highlights of this week’s reporting and commentary on COVID-19 litigation include articles on “take home” lawsuits, the need for liability reform, and a possible “middle ground” for handling COVID-19 business-interruption insurance MDLs.

September 28, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Ryan Martin-Patterson, and Kaelyne Wietelman, Alston & Bird LPP

This week brought us several new rulings in long-pending cases, including the dismissal of six class actions against JPMorgan Chase based upon a ruling that banks are not required to pay “agent fees” under the Paycheck Protection Program.  Negligence claims in a suit against Princess Cruise Lines were dismissed on the pleadings because the plaintiffs had not adequately alleged causation.  A Florida judge shot down a plaintiff’s standing in her proposed class action against LA Fitness over club fee refunds.  And many more new cases were filed, including employment, government, derivative, insurance, and landlord-tenant suits.

September 25, 2020

Jonathan D. Urick, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

Reporting and commentary on COVID-19 litigation was somewhat lighter this week.  Highlights include articles on shareholder derivative litigation, workplace litigation, and effective liability waivers.

September 21, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Debolina Das, and Kaelyne Wietelman, Alston & Bird LLP

This past week saw several major pandemic-related legal developments, with important court decisions, continued litigation against employers, new lawsuits involving high-profile celebrities, and state legislation enacted to protect businesses from COVID-19 liability.

September 18, 2020

Jonathan D. Urick, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

Some highlights of this week’s reporting and commentary on COVID-19 litigation include articles on its continuing and likely accelerating growth, a possible compromise coronavirus-relief bill, international business-interruption insurance litigation, the recent judicial decision striking down Pennsylvania’s coronavirus orders as unconstitutional, and the federal class actions against Zoom.

September 15, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Debolina Das, and Kaelyne Wietelman

Alston & Bird LLP

In the short holiday week, new filing action was predominantly in the government suit realm, with many more actions challenging pandemic regulations and many other government suits seeking to enforce them.  A new ruling from the Seventh Circuit upheld an Illinois executive order, concluding that the order does not violate the First Amendment by providing preferential treatment to the free exercise of religion.  The Sixth Circuit also let stand a Michigan law requiring that agricultural employers and housing operators test migrant workers for COVID-19 before beginning work, notwithstanding the disproportionate impact on Latinos.

September 11, 2020

Daryl Joseffer, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

This week’s reporting and commentary on COVID-19 litigation includes an especially interesting look at the precedents being set in cruise-ship cases, the role of state sovereign immunity in college coronavirus cases, too much time at home driving litigation over 401(k) fees, the leading employment-benefits cases, and, of course, Congress’s efforts to enact liability protection.

September 9, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Debolina Das, and Kaelyne Wietelman, Alston & Bird LLP

The pace of new COVID-19-related filings slowed a bit leading up to Labor Day weekend, but there were still many noteworthy new cases.

September 3, 2020

Jonathan D. Urick, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

This week’s reporting and commentary on COVID-19 litigation focused on a possible coming wave of age- and disability-discrimination lawsuits, tuition-refund litigation, cruise-line class actions, and China’s potential response to the lawsuits against it in U.S. courts.

August 31, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Debolina Das, and Kaelyne Wietelman, Alston & Bird LLP

This week’s new filings were dominated by a slew of suits by and against governments over mask ordinances, business regulations, price-gouging claims, and closure orders—including a creative new claim asserting that the shutdown of a “family fun center” amounted to inverse condemnation, for which the business is entitled to compensation.

August 28, 2020

Tara S. Morrissey, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

The threat of liability continues to dominate headlines in COVID-19 news and commentary.  Schools and college football conferences weigh liability risks, while more states move toward liability protections.  As businesses get back on their feet, a recent report shows that the pandemic is disproportionately impacting female small business owners. 

August 24, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Debolina Das, and Kaelyne Wietelman, Alston & Bird LLP

The top three developments this past week: many more challenges to regulations and government enforcement; decisions in several cases seeking insurance coverage; and a major new securities lawsuit.

August 21, 2020

Jonathan D. Urick, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

This week’s reporting and commentary on COVID-19 litigation focused on a new coronavirus relief proposal, policy and litigation trends, legal risks for employers, insurance litigation, and liability waivers.

August 17, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Debolina Das, and Kaelyne Wietelman, Alston & Bird LLP

New cases related to COVID-19 surged last week, driven primarily by new filings against governments over pandemic-related restrictions and school reopening plans.  Workplace litigation also continues to grow.  And there were important developments in workplace and refund cases we’ve previously covered.

August 14, 2020

Jonathan D. Urick, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

This week’s reporting and commentary on COVID-19 litigation primarily focused on the debate over the Senate GOP’s proposed lawsuit protections, the liability risks facing reopening schools and college-sports programs, and the growing wave of business-interruption insurance litigation.

August 10, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, Debolina Das, and Kaelyne Wietelman, Alston & Bird LLP

It’s been a busy week for coronavirus-related litigation.  We’re all familiar with suits arguing either that masks should be required or that they should not be required.  Here’s a new one: a suit complaining about other people wearing masks.  Store customers are arguing that employees violated the law by wearing masks because the masks prevented lip reading.  In the meantime, employees continue to pursue failure-to-protect suits against their employers for not doing more to implement and enforce mask mandates.  This legal chaos continues to strengthen the case for liability protection.

Beyond masks, this past week saw considerable litigation challenging government health measures, government actions against businesses and others to enforce those measures, an increase in Americans With Disabilities Act suits, and much more.