Tribal Court has Jurisdiction Over COVID-19 Coverage Dispute, Wash. Federal Judge Rules

  • Order

TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal judge has dismissed an action filed by a group of insurers against an Indian tribe in a COVID-19 coverage dispute, ruling that the Suquamish Tribal Court has jurisdiction over the claims because the policies were issued and sold on tribal land.

In a Sept. 12 opinion, Judge David G. Estudillo of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington added that barring Tribal Court jurisdiction would prevent the Tribe from exercising its right to regulate contractual relations between itself, its members, and non-tribal members.

The Suquamish Tribe is a federally recognized …


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