Pennsylvania Supreme Court Hands Insurers Victory over COVID-19 Policy Disputes

In one of what is expected to be the first of thousands of COVID-19 legal cases, Pittsburgh-based restauranteur Joseph Tambellini filed a lawsuit against his insurer Erie Insurance Exchange. Tambellini alleged his company’s commercial property policy should provide coverage for business income losses allegedly due to mandated business restrictions related to COVID-19. Erie disagreed. Tambellini went a step further and filed an Application for Extraordinary Relief with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He requested the court assume jurisdiction of the litigation. The application further requested the state’s Supreme Court exercise plenary jurisdiction over all COVID-19 insurance disputes. The court denied his application without an opinion. This victory for insurers allows each coverage dispute to be litigated on a case by case basis. Read the details of the case here.