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.
Society claims it did not act in bad faith, but denied the insurance claims filed by policyholders based on the specifics of their individual cases. Rick Parks, Society’s CEO, has been accused of misrepresenting coverage and discouraging policyholders from filing insurance claims.
U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang has so far refused to throw the claims out, instead selecting three cases in which Society filed dismissal or summary judgment motions to serve as bellwethers for addressing policy interpretation issues central to the 40-plus cases included in the MDL.
The policyholders are being represented by Burns Bowen Bair co-founder Tim Burns, who is serving as co-lead counsel. Mr. Burns is working alongside Shelby S. Guilbert Jr. of McGuireWoods LLP, Adam J. Levitt of DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, Shannon M. McNulty of Clifford Law Offices PC and W. Mark Lanier of the Lanier Law Firm PC.
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