Insurance Law Analytics (ILA) at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School announced the launch of its COVID Coverage Litigation Tracker (CCLT), which contains data for property casualty insurance court cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Created by Tom Baker, founder of ILA and the William Maul Measey Professor of Law at Penn Law, the CCLT is updated on a weekly basis, and, among other features, categorizes the insurance policies at issue in the cases. A lawyer or court can use the tracker to put the cases into a manageable number of “buckets,” each of which would have substantially identical contract language regarding key issues. This will allow courts, or lawyers working cooperatively, to decide those key issues on a wholesale basis. This is a core part of handling property casualty cases on a consolidated basis, for example through multi-district litigation (MDL).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created the biggest insurance coverage event in our lifetimes – it’s bigger than any hurricane and bigger than 9/11 in terms of total dollar value of claims,” said Baker. “For the many small and medium sized businesses that have been severely impacted, these insurance claims may be a way for them to recover, depending on how courts answer the novel questions the cases present. The creation of this tool is a collective effort on behalf of Penn Law to use our talents and capacities to help those representing impacted businesses and their insurers navigate the complex landscape that has resulted from the pandemic in an efficient manner.”
For each case, the ILA collects the name and industry code of the policyholder(s) seeking coverage, the name and AM Best number of the insurer(s) involved, the court in which the case is being litigated, the docket number, the law firms involved, the nature of coverage sought, the type of insurance policy at issue, and the specifics of any class action allegations. When a copy of the insurance policy can be obtained, the ILA also collects the specific standard insurance policy forms that the parties allege are relevant to the dispute, the producer listed on the policy and the state of issue. In addition, they categorize the insurance policies at issue according to the communicable-disease-related provisions they contain.
The site, which is still in beta testing, is the first project of Penn Law’s ILA, which was formed to conduct empirical research on insurance litigation to inform the resolution of insurance disputes and the development of insurance law.