Chamber Litigation Blog

April 19, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Gillian H. Clow, and Giles Judd, Alston & Bird LLP

This week’s top COVID-19 litigation developments involve: the dismissal of a securities fraud class action against Norwegian Cruise Lines; a new “taxation without representation” lawsuit by restaurants and bars against the State of California and Santa Clara County; and the expiration of Texas guidelines for state courts regarding the CDC’s residential eviction moratorium.

April 13, 2021

Jennifer B. Dickey

What’s all this talk about public and private rights?

Once relegated to a small portion of Federal Courts textbooks, Justice Thomas has recently led a revival of discussion of the public/private rights distinction.  His views, though often ignored by advocates as idiosyncratic, may prove critical for businesses seeking to build a majority at the Supreme Court, particularly in the area of Article III standing.  And with a significant number of Thomas clerks now on the federal courts, those views may also be relevant and important in other courts. 

April 12, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Ryan Martin-Patterson, Stephen Tagert, Alston & Bird LLP

The top COVID-19 litigation developments this past week include: New York’s repeal of a COVID-19 liability shield for nursing homes; an accused price-gouger’s claim that a key provision of the Defense Production Act is void for vagueness; a lawsuit seeking to invalidate South Carolina’s return-to-work order for state employees; and a putative class action demanding overtime pay for time spent receiving on-the-job COVID-19 screenings.

April 5, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Gillian H. Clow, and Giles Judd, Alston & Bird LLP

This week’s top COVID-19 litigation developments are decisions on several dispositive motions: the denial of motions to dismiss filed by British Airways and Southwest Airlines in ticket refund class actions; the dismissal of two business interruption insurance class actions; and the dismissal of a tuition refund lawsuit against Santa Clara University. 

March 31, 2021

By Sue Reisinger | March 31, 2021, 3:58 PM EDT

The U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, which represents businesses on leading-edge issues before the courts and federal regulatory agencies, has shaken up its legal department by adding four prestigious lawyers to its in-house team. This group is so experienced that all four have worked at name law firms in Washington, held high positions as attorneys in the federal government, and clerked for federal appeals court judges. The new hires this month, who are replacing others, include two deputy chief counsel, Paul Lettow and Andrew Varcoe. They were joined by associate chief counsel Jennifer Dickey and senior counsel for litigation Stephanie Maloney. The center’s legal team totals eight lawyers.

Read more: https://www.law360.com/pulse/articles/1370758/chamber-adds-four-star-attys-to-its-litigation-center

March 29, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Ryan Martin-Patterson, Stephen Tagert

This week’s top COVID-19 litigation developments are: Amazon’s settlement with the NLRB over an employee walkout; a class action against New York City over its use of a “secret” maximum price list in price-gouging enforcement; a securities suit against a biotech company over misstatements regarding a COVID-19 test it was developing; and a class action against Walmart by hourly employees claiming they improperly lost pay during mandatory COVID screenings.

March 22, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Gillian H. Clow, and Giles Judd, Alston & Bird LLP

This week’s top COVID-19 litigation developments are all decisions on motions to dismiss.  Courts dismissed a privacy class action against Zoom, a refund class action against Ticketmaster, a business interruption lawsuit based on a virus exclusion in the insurance policy, and a tuition refund class action against NYU.  In the one bright spot for plaintiffs this week, a court also denied a motion to dismiss a different business interruption suit based on “standing” grounds.

March 15, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Ryan Martin-Patterson, Stephen Tagert

This week’s top COVID-19 litigation developments involve: the dismissal for mootness of a refund class action filed against Capital One Bank; a guilty plea in a large price-gouging case; a new business-interruption insurance suit filed by Madison Square Garden entities; and Wisconsin’s new COVID-10 liability shield for businesses, government entities, and tribes.

March 8, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Gillian H. Clow, and Giles Judd, Alston & Bird LLP

The top developments in COVID-19 litigation this past week were: the dismissal of a workplace exposure suit filed by the infected employee’s spouse; the partial survival of refund class actions against Columbia University and Pace University; and a $100 million business interruption coverage suit filed by In-N-Out Burgers.

March 1, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Gillian H. Clow, and Ryan Martin-Patterson

This past week’s top developments in COVID-19 litigation were: a federal court’s invalidation of the CDC’s eviction moratorium; the dismissal of a bias suit against Walmart based on its “exclusive shopping hour” for customers who are especially vulnerable to coronavirus; California’s decision to fine a McDonald’s franchisee for allegedly firing COVID-19 safety whistleblowers; and a novel lawsuit by a doctor claiming that a hospital failed to warn him of potential exposure to COVID-19 while on duty.

February 22, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Giles Judd, and Stephen Tagert, Alston & Bird LLP

This week’s top developments in COVID-19 litigation include a securities suit against Inovio Pharmaceuticals and a refund suit against United Airlines that survived motions to dismiss; two new securities suits against biotechnology companies for allegedly overinflated promises during the pandemic; and a legal battle between New York State and Amazon over workplace protections.

February 16, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Ryan Martin-Patterson, and Stephen Tagert, Alston & Bird LLP

This week’s top developments in COVID-19 litigation include the Supreme Court’s injunction against California’s ban on indoor religious services, two insurance lawsuits that each present a new twist on typical “all risk” business-interruption claims, and another insurance coverage suit that alleges bad faith based on a supposed “smoking gun” internal memo.

February 8, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Gillian H. Clow, and Giles Judd, Alston & Bird LLP

This week we cover an important dismissal of a securities class action arising from the pandemic, two new securities cases alleging distinct types of pandemic-related public  misrepresentations, a lawsuit claiming a company’s recall of defective hand sanitizer was inadequate, and the dismissal of a refund lawsuit against Fordham University.

February 1, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Ryan Martin-Patterson, and Stephen Tagert, Alston & Bird LLP

The top 5 developments in COVID-19 litigation this past week were a new class action lawsuit against Amazon, the dismissal of two suits seeking business interruption insurance coverage, lawsuits challenging California and New York’s new limits on in-person dining, settlement of a class action against Nike regarding in-store masking accommodations for deaf customers, and President Biden’s Executive Order impacting worker health and safety during the pandemic.

January 25, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Gillian H. Clow, and Giles Judd, Alston & Bird LLP

This week, we focus on a constitutional challenge to California’s recent shutdown orders and the dismissal of three distinct business interruption insurance coverage cases in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas.  These cases reflect the surge of business interruption lawsuits filed in 2020, which are now being decided – largely in favor of insurers – and that represent different ways of analyzing the claims, leaving open the possibility for success under certain factual circumstances.

January 19, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Ryan Martin-Patterson, and Stephen Tagert, Alston & Bird LLP

This week’s Roundup covers the dismissal of a putative class action seeking a refund for participant fees paid to the Ironman race organizer, a securities fraud class action over public statements about development of a COVID-19 antigen test, and multiple class actions filed by restaurants in California and New York challenging government orders that forced them to close as “non-essential” but provided no offsetting compensation.

January 11, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, and Giles Judd, Alston & Bird LLP

This week, we focus on four significant decisions in pandemic-related cases.  Courts dismissed putative class actions claiming PPP agent fees and seeking to invalidate Minnesota’s eviction moratorium, and also dismissed a lawsuit by several restaurants seeking business interruption insurance coverage.  Another court denied an employer’s motion to dismiss a complaint for violation of the WARN Act through a layoff necessitated by the pandemic.

January 5, 2021

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Ryan Martin-Patterson, and Stephen Tagert, Alston & Bird LLP

COVID-related litigation continued over the holidays, albeit at a slower pace.  The top four developments are:

  1.  California Plaintiffs Sue Amazon Over Working Conditions
  2.  Zoom Hit with ADA Case for Closed-Captioning Service Fees
  3.  Poultry Companies Hit with Lawsuits for Alleged Failure to Follow COVID-19 Regulations
  4.  Federal Judge Rules Against Challenge to Philadelphia COVID Restrictions
December 21, 2020

Jason A. Levine, Peter E. Masaitis, Gillian H. Clow, and Giles Judd, Alston & Bird LLP

We have been monitoring the proposed “Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protections Act,” which, if enacted, would dramatically limit businesses’ pandemic-related legal liability and would be critical in shaping the COVID-19 litigation landscape in 2021 and beyond. 

In the meantime, here are the top three litigation developments from this past week:

1. Federal Judge Compels Arbitration in Ticketmaster Consumer Dispute

2. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation Combines Suits Against Insurers

3. U.S. Supreme Court Sets Aside Colorado Capacity Limits for Houses of Worship

December 14, 2020

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

Below are the Top 4 COVID-19 Litigation Developments from the past week:

1. Cheesecake Factory Settles with SEC

2. Court Requires California to Conduct Risk-Benefit Analysis To Extend Restaurant Closures

3. New Changes to the PREP Act

4. More Takings Claims Against Universities