Four Business Interruption Lawsuits against Cincinnati Insurance are being Consolidated in Ohio

CINCINNATI – On Jan. 15, Judge Matthew W. McFarland of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio consolidated four COVID-19 business interruption coverage actions against Cincinnati Insurance Company. The four plaintiffs included in this consolidation are Troy Stacy Enterprises, Inc., Swearingen Smiles LLC, et al., Reeds Jewelers of Niagara Falls, Inc., and Burning Brothers Brewing LLC, et al.

The Court ruled that “the bases for consolidation here are manifold,” illustrating the clear common questions of law and fact between the four actions because each plaintiff has a similar policy with Cincinnati Insurance, and when they experienced business loss due to COVID-19, they were all denied by the Company. Judge McFarland also noted that “no party has suggested the laws of the different states vary, so the choice-of-law factor does not, in this case, increase risk of confusion.”

After consolidation, on January 22, 2021, Cincinnati moved to certify questions of law to the Ohio Supreme Court; however, because the consolidated actions include a wide range of state law that may be implicated, including Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York law, the motion was denied.

The consolidated amended complaint will be filed by February 26, 2021 and will moot any motions to dismiss directed at the individual actions.

SOURCES:

Troy Stacy Enterprises Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, No. 1:20-cv-00312-MWM, Doc. #57, ORDER

Troy Stacy Enterprises Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, No. 1:20-cv-00312-MWM – Doc. #12, ORDER