Lewis Brisbois Engaged in Precedential Third Circuit Coronavirus Wrongful Death Case

San Diego, Calif. (July 16, 2021) - As the first COVID-19-related wrongful death matters make their way into appellate courts, Lewis Brisbois is on the frontline of a significant legal battle in the Third Circuit, with San Diego Partner and Vice-Chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Appellate Practice Lann G. McIntyre recently participating in oral argument on behalf of two New Jersey nursing homes.

As reported in the Law360 article titled, “3 COVID-19 Injury And Wrongful Death Cases To Watch,” the first precedential appellate rulings in coronavirus injury and wrongful death cases are expected to be issued soon. Specifically, several federal courts are prepared to determine whether the proper venue for this type of litigation is in federal court under the Federal Officer Removal Statute, or in the state courts where the suits originated. Among these cases is a matter in which Lewis Brisbois is defending two nursing homes accused of causing patients’ coronavirus-related deaths.

Ms. McIntyre recently appeared before a three-judge panel in the Third Circuit, where she argued that because Lewis Brisbois’ nursing home clients acted under the federal government’s authority as part of its pandemic response, the lawsuits in which they were named should remain in federal court. During oral argument, Ms. McIntyre contended, “These nursing homes were acting under and in assistance to the federal government in the manner in which it responded to the pandemic that swept through these nursing homes.” She further noted that the facilities were “designated as part of a critical infrastructure in this country to respond as first responders to this national pandemic,” emphasizing the federal government’s interest in “ensuring that adequate care is provided to this vulnerable population.”

The Third Circuit will ultimately determine whether the matters involving Lewis Brisbois’ clients should be sent back to state court, as a district court previously ordered, or whether they will remain in federal court.

Ms. McIntyre has over 35 years of experience first as a civil litigator and then as an appellate specialist. Ms. McIntyre represents both public and private clients in civil writs, appeals, and mandate proceedings. In addition to appellate briefing and oral argument, Ms. McIntyre has acted as embedded appellate counsel during trial and has extensive experience in working with trial lawyers to achieve success and preserve the record before, during, and after trial through dispositive motions, trial briefing, in limine motions, and post-trial motion work.

The full Lewis Brisbois team includes Ms. McIntyre, San Deigo Appellate Practice Partner Jeffry A. Miller, and Newark Partners S. Christopher Martino and Malinda A. Miller. Read Law360's full article about this case here (subscription required).

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