Coronavirus Stories We’re Following

Apr 27, 2020   

Coronavirus Litigation:

The Coronavirus lawsuits have begun. In Florida insurance litigation news, a popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant has initiated a federal class action case against Chubb alleging that the insurer is refusing to cover lawsuits related to the pandemic and local shutdown orders. The Miami Herald story is available here. We are expecting many, many more similar cases as additional claims are denied.

Another trend of Coronavirus litigation reveals private parties filing suit against state and local governments alleging that state-imposed restrictions on travel and business are unconstitutional. The Wall Street Journal’s coverage is available here.

Also developing is the question regarding whether nursing homes in Florida and other states can avoid liability for the thousands of nursing home residents who have tragically contracted Covid-19 and died as a result. This is an ongoing story we are tracking closely for our nursing home clients. NPR’s coverage is available here.

FIDJ’s Regulatory Practice:

Money Transmitting Businesses: FIDJ represents a wide range of Money Services Businesses, including money transmitters who help customers in the United States send money to their families in Latin America, the Caribbean and other areas of the world. As a result of the pandemic, international remittances are down significantly in 2020, which could result in significant destabilization in developing nations. We are tracking this development closely for our MSB clients. The Wall Street Journal’s coverage is available here.

FDA/FTC Warning Letters:

As we have previously written, FDA finds itself at the center of the universe in responding to the Coronavirus pandemic, leading the charge in developing vaccines and ensuring a safe, effective and robust supply of personal protective equipment, diagnostics (Covid-19 and antibody tests and testing equipment) and drugs. However, more recently developing is the flood of warning letters published by FDA and FTC against companies selling inadequately approved products and making false and unsubstantiated claims. FTC’s April 23 announcement regarding its 21 warning letters (including 2 to stem cell companies) is available here. FDA’s list of Coronavirus-related warning letters is available here. Our take? In spite of the pandemic, FDA and FTC are closely marketing Coronavirus claims. Any company (and particularly stem cell companies) without government approval saying anything about their products and procedures even possibly addressing Coronavirus should expect a warning letter.