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Vol. 9 - Issue 5
July 16, 2020

Federal Court Stays Covid-19 Coverage Action Pending Upcoming Decision On MDL 
There have been several federal court decisions of late that have stayed Covid-19 coverage actions, given the possibility that the case will be transferred to a Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation for purposes of centralized pretrial proceedings.  The court’s rationale is why get too involved in the case if it might get transferred.  A hearing on whether to create a MDL, for the voluminous federal court Covid-19 coverage litigation, is scheduled for July 30th.  Earlier this week the Eastern District of Pennsylvania saw fit to issue a stay, which had been sought by the insured.  The insurer argued that “a stay would impugn its right to prompt adjudication of Plaintiff’s claims” and that “transfer to an MDL is not likely in this case, given the great number of insurers, claims, and applicable state laws.  The court in Deoleo v. United States Liab. Ins. Co., No. 20-2301 (E.D. Pa. July 14, 2020) disagreed and granted the stay, reasoning: “A short stay may avoid unnecessary briefing on Defendant’s anticipated Motion to Dismiss. A hearing on the JPML transfer and consolidation motions is imminent, so any delay should be slight.”



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