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ACCC Law School Webinar - Seton Hall University: Evolving Insurance Law Responses to the Global Pandemic
Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT
Category: Presented by ACCC

The American College of Coverage Counsel and The Seton Hall University School of Law 
cordially invite you to their winter 2021 webinar titled: 

Evolving Insurance Law Responses to the Global Pandemic 
February 16, 2021
3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time 
Zoom Webinar 

As the global pandemic approaches its first anniversary, it has ushered in a host of insurance law issues, some old and some new. The American College of Coverage Counsel, a leading organization of lawyers representing leading policyholder and insurer-side advocates, has joined forces with the Seton Hall University School of Law to provide an insightful overview of the evolving dynamics of these claims and resultant coverage litigation. In this webinar, insurance law experts will examine major pandemic-related issues and evaluate the strategies that policyholders and insurers alike are deploying in the nationwide contest over whether these losses will be covered.

Program Agenda:

I.       Introduction: Seton Hall Representative

II.      Evolution of Pandemic Insurance Disputes and Suits 

         Michael Aylward (Morrison Mahoney-Boston)

Since the first DJ was filed on March 16, 2020, nearly 2000 individual suits and class actions have been filed across the United States. Mr. Aylward will track the evolving form that these suits have taken and the trends that have emerged in the dozens of cases decided since Labor Day.

III.     Business Interruption Disputes

           A.      Do Pandemic Claims Involve A “Direct Physical Loss”? 

          Sheri Pastor (McCarter English—Newark, NJ)
          Greg Varga (Robinson & Cole—Hartford, CT)

Much of the early coverage litigation has focused on whether insureds can establish “direct physical loss of or damage” to their property to obtain coverage for pandemic-related Business Income losses. Similar issues have also arisen with respect to Civil Authority and Dependent Property coverage claims, although each also present its own issues. What arguments have the parties raised to date and how have courts responded?

          B.       Will Virus or Microorganism Exclusions Prevail? 

          Joyce Wang (Carlson Calladine Peterson—San Francisco, CA)
          Lorelie Masters (Hunton Andrews Kurth—Washington, D.C.)

“Virus” exclusions have also been a prominent part of the recent coverage rulings. Will policyholders be able to overcome virus exclusions by argument that the ISO/AAIS forms were not meant to address pandemics or that these losses are not actually caused by a virus? Are there other exclusions that insurers are asserting under policies that lack virus exclusions?

IV.     Liability Insurance Disputes

So far, liability claims have been slow to emerge from this pandemic.   As time passes (and the full economic consequences of the pandemic become clearer), claims may be brought against directors and officers that may trigger D&O coverage disputes.   E&O disputes also seem likely to arise, particularly those involving health professionals who may have misdiagnosed or otherwise mishandled COVID-19 cases.  Finally, the claims that are already being presented against employers will certainly result in dispute arising under Employment Practices Liability insurance policies.

          A.      Directors & Officers Insurance 

          Seth Lamden (Neil Gerber Eisenberg-Chicago, IL)
          Michael Manire (Manire Galla Curley—New York, NY)

          B.       Employment Practices Insurance 

          Chris Mosley (Sherman & Howard—Denver, CO)
          Laura Hanson (Meagher Geer—Minneapolis, MN)

V.      Evolving Tactics and Litigation Strategies 

          David Goodwin  (Covington & Burling—San Francisco, CA)
          Laura Foggan (Crowell & Moring—Washington, D.C.)

First, insurers aggressively pursued motions to dismiss.   Then, insureds pushed back with preemptive efforts to obtain summary judgment.  What are the lessons that we can learn from the first year of this coverage litigation and what trends that are already evident? How do we foresee this litigation continuing to grow or evolve in 2021?

VI.     Questions and Answers

Click here for a copy of the program Power Point presentation file.

Contact: [email protected]