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K&L Gates partner Carolyn Branthoover (Photo: Courtesy Photo) K&L Gates partner Carolyn Branthoover. Photo: Courtesy Photo

Beginning in March and continuing on a daily basis, lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts all over the United States seeking to resolve questions around the availability of insurance coverage for COVID-19-related business interruption losses. The overwhelming majority of these suits, which now number several hundred, have been filed by policyholders, but there are several cases commenced by insurers seeking a judicial declaration that their policies do not provide coverage. The policyholders in these cases operate in a variety of industries, but many of these suits have been brought by those in the food and beverage industry, with restaurant owners leading the charge. Additionally, more and more of these coverage suits are being brought as proposed class actions, and a number of efforts have been undertaken by plaintiffs counsel to centralize certain groups of cases in one or more coordinated multidistrict actions. Thus far, those consolidation efforts have been largely unsuccessful and no class action has been certified.

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