The U.S. Trustee’s Office and two claimant groups filed objections to the proposed deal with the New Jersey Diocese and its insurers. They argue the settlement should be incorporated into the Diocese’s Chapter 11 plan instead of settled separately. The U.S. Trustee is claiming the deal is unreasonable and the two claimant groups argue that the deal would improperly force the claimants to give up their claims against insurance carriers and other parties. The other claimant group of abuse survivors disagree and argued the settlement cannot release their claims because under New Jersey law, the bankruptcy of an insured party does not release insurers from policy liability. “Thus, the statute contractually gives the survivors the opportunity to pursue claims directly against the insurers in the event insolvency of the Diocese prevents satisfaction of a judgment,” it stated.
In putting together it’s recent COVID article, Law 360 reached out to Burns Bowen Bair’s own Tim Burns to weigh in on this issue.
Tim Burns of Burns Bowen Bair LLP, who counsels policyholders, described what’s going on at the Seventh and Sixth Circuits — another federal appellate court that has put out several rulings — like a dinner scene in the 1983 comedy film, “Reuben, Reuben” where an arrogant upper middle class type drones on to a Scottish poet about taking a speed-reading course.
In a roundup of top New Jersey cases to watch in the coming year, Law360 lists a Roman Catholic diocese in southern New Jersey whose clergy have been accused of sexual abuse. The case is currently being litigated in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, with the diocese attempting to declare some of its assets off limits.
Law360 recently spoke to Burns Bowen Bair co-founder Tim Burns regarding a restaurant operator seeking relief from pandemic-related shutdown orders. The operator, Gavrilides Management Co. LLC, is seeking an appeal of a trial court’s July 2020 decision that said there needed to be tangible, physical damage to its properties in order to warrant coverage. Read more
Two Travelers units filed a declaratory action in June to avoid covering a 2017 shareholder suit against Blue Bell Creameries, filed in the wake of a listeria contamination. The two units — Discover Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and Travelers Indemnity Co. of Connecticut — cite exclusions in the ice cream maker’s commercial general liability policy in their bid for summary judgment. Read more
A recent article in Law360 details several businesses, including a Ritz-Carlton in Texas and a Quality Inn in Illinois, arguing before a Seventh Circuit panel that they each had insurance coverage wrongly denied after suffering losses resulting from pandemic-related government shutdown orders.
Attorneys Tim Burns, Jeff Bowen, Jesse Bair, and Freya Bowen are representing Gio Pizzeria & Bar Hospitality LLC of Coral Springs and Gio Pizzeria Boca of Boca Raton. The pizza companies recently asked the Eleventh Circuit to reverse a string of lower court decisions denying them insurance coverage after pandemic-related shutdown orders forced them to close their business.
Several Native American tribes and nations have had difficulty obtaining insurance coverage after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them into closing resorts and casinos.
An Illinois federal judge has been asked by Society Insurance Co. to throw out all bad faith claims it’s currently facing in pandemic business-interruption multidistrict litigation, despite claims it issued a blanket coverage denial over COVID-19 losses.
Two insurance company trade groups have weighed in on the debate over whether businesses are entitled to coverage following losses resulting from pandemic-related shutdown orders. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies asked the Fourth Circuit to reject a lawsuit filed by Skillets LLC, saying that none of the restaurant chain’s nine southwest Florida locations suffered any physical damage.