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Vol. 9 - Issue 5
July 16, 2020


Penn Law’s Professor Tom Baker Creates The “Covid Coverage Litigation Tracker”


The number of suits filed by policyholders, in state and federal courts, seeking coverage for business interruption in conjunction with the Covid-19 pandemic, is staggering.  It is well into the many hundreds and they address a variety of issues.   

Looking for a way to keep track of it all?  Penn Law School’s Professor Tom Baker – the Reporter for the wrapped-up ALI Restatement of Liability Insurance -- has created the Covid Coverage Litigation Tracker.  As the name says, it keeps track of the litigation, setting out a slew of statistics, including the number of filings on a weekly basis, types of claims being asserted, class action status, law firms bringing the cases, insurance companies named as defendants, the policy forms at issue and so on and so on.  The Litigation Tracker also includes a list of all cases filed.   There were 670 cases listed when I checked the other day. 

But CCLT is not just numbers and statistics.  There are also blog posts that are updated on a regular basis that provide analysis and observations.  Want to see how Covid-19 coverage litigation compares to some recent major hurricanes, you can find it here.  

Tom Baker and a team of Penn Law students use Lex Machina’s legal analytics for insurance litigation platform to identify the federal cases and a host of sources – most significantly Courthouse News Service – to find state court cases. 

My favorite blog post from CCLT compares the complaint writing styles of cases involving dentists versus restaurants.  This is the kind of drilling down that CCLT does in addition to setting out its menu of facts and figures.  Somehow I’m not surprised that it’s the restaurants that quote from Oscar Wilde, while the dentists just spit out the allegations.   Speaking of restaurants, CCLT reports that over 40% of the suits in their database involve eating establishments.

Tom and the future lawyers on the project (insurance coverage, no doubt) deserve credit for a job very well done.  CCLT is only going to get more useful as courts around the country begin to decide the issues.  Bookmark CCLT!

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