For the first time, a court has ruled that insurance companies are liable for losses due to COVID-19. Of course, this will only help companies that actually carried insurance, but we could be talking hundreds of billions of dollars if this court ruling holds. Entire cities ruled by Democrats were shut down for long periods of time.
An Appellate Court in New Orleans has ruled that businesses have the right to collect from their insurance carriers for COVID-19-related losses. The restaurant that brought the suit argued that they had substantial losses because they had to move the tables apart and limit the number of people they could serve. A prior court ruling had gone against them, but they won on appeal.
Chief Judge Terri Love wrote in the ruling:
“The physical presence of COVID-19 substantially diminished the usable space of the property, as tables needed to be pushed farther apart, and resulted in economic losses due to the slowdown of the appellants’ business.”
“Oceana Grill’s parent company was one of the first, if not the first, to file a COVID insurance coverage lawsuit, though many more followed. The general consensus was that the pandemic wouldn’t qualify for business interruption assistance, as it was created to cover closures due to property damage from natural disasters. This court, however, found that the wording is open to interpretation and that physical damage did not have to be ‘obvious and observable.’”
“We will pursue all options to address what we believe to be an outlier decision,” Dodd added.
Reuters noted that “while Wednesday’s appellate decision is the first to find coverage for COVID-19 income losses under an all-risk property insurance policy, a state appellate court in New York on Monday affirmed a Bronx judge’s ruling that allowed the New York Botanical Garden to sue its Pollution Liability Insurer, Allied World Assurance, for denying its COVID-related loss of business income claim and for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”
“This lawsuit was all about coverage,” Daniel Davillier, an attorney representing Oceana Grill’s owner, told Nola. “If you don’t have coverage you can’t claim any damages. There are a lot of people out there who suffered losses during the pandemic who’ve been waiting to see how this turns out.”