Law360 (April 23, 2020, 6:32 PM EDT) -- A medical center filed a proposed class action Thursday in Pennsylvania federal court against Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, accusing the insurer of failing to cover losses that occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 54-bed Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber said it suffered financial losses due to the virus and related orders of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, and that Travelers denied recently filed claims the company is required to cover. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all Pennsylvania citizens who have sustained covered losses due to COVID-19 but were denied coverage by Travelers.
"Defendant, Travelers, has wrongfully denied and/or failed to acknowledge the coverage to persons or organizations who have sustained covered losses caused by the COVID-19 virus and the referenced orders," the medical center said.
The lawsuit includes a timeline of orders Wolf issued in March and April that ordered the closings of nonessential businesses in the state and other actions to battle the coronavirus, including an April 1 stay-at-home order.
According to the lawsuit, the governor's orders have impacted the medical center, and it has had to furlough employees, although it did not specify how many or what its total financial loss is estimated to be.
The medical center has roughly 450 employees and operates an emergency room, but also includes a cardiac care unit, hospice, rehabilitation services, imaging and radiology, and orthopedic services among its offerings, according to its website.
The lawsuit specifically claims that as a result of Wolf's orders it has had to "close its business" and has been "forced to furlough employees, thereby incurring loss," but many of the medical center's services remained open as of Thursday, and the lawsuit did not offer specifics on what aspects of the business have closed.
The lawsuit also did not specify the dates it filed claims with Travelers and when the purported claims were denied, but said it was "wrongly denied" claims for losses caused by COVID-19 and the governor's orders. The medical center said its insurance policy with Travelers, among other things, includes coverage for property, business, personal property, business income, extra expense, continuation and civil authority.
Counsel for the medical center did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Travelers declined to comment.
The medical center is represented by James C. Haggerty of Haggerty Goldberg Schleifer & Kupersmith PC, Jonathan Shub of Kohn Swift Graf PC, Jack Goodrich of Jack Goodrich & Associates and Scott Cooper of Schmit Kramer PC.
Counsel for Travelers was not immediately available.
The case is Windber Hospital d/b/a Chan Soon Shiong Medical Center et al. v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, case number unavailable, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
--Editing by Orlando Lorenzo.
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