Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • February 11, 2021

    New York Justice Dismisses Movie Theater’s COVID-19 Suit Against Insurer, Brokers

    MINEOLA, N.Y. — A New York justice on Feb. 8 dismissed an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the closure of its movie theater in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, concurring “with the majority view” that the insured’s loss of use of its premises because of the coronavirus-related shutdown orders does not constitute “direct physical loss of or damage to the property” under the policy and further noting that the insured fails to assert that it inquired about insurance coverage for government closures related to a pandemic.

  • February 10, 2021

    Virus Exclusion Bars Coverage For COVID-19 Losses, Judge Determines

    NEWARK, N.J. — No coverage is owed for business losses sustained by an ophthalmology practice in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because a virus exclusion in the applicable policy applies as a bar to coverage, a New Jersey federal judge said Feb. 8.

  • February 10, 2021

    Insurance Advocates Say Policy Wasn’t Meant To Cover Coronavirus

    ST. LOUIS — Property insurance policies are written to protect against damage and do not extend to business interruption caused by the likes of the novel coronavirus, two insurance advocacy groups told an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in a Jan. 20 amicus curiae brief.

  • February 10, 2021

    Louisiana Federal Judge Allows Expert In Insurance Contract Breach Dispute

    BATON ROUGE, La. — An insurer’s arguments to exclude an expert witness in a breach of contract suit involving a flood insurance policy go to weight of the evidence, not its admissibility under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., a Louisiana federal judge ruled Jan. 28, denying the motion.

  • February 10, 2021

    Federal Judge Grants Property Insurer’s Motion To Dismiss COVID-19 Bad Faith Suit

    DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on Feb. 9 granted a commercial property insurer’s motion to dismiss its restaurant insured’s lawsuit seeking business interruption coverage for its losses arising from the novel coronavirus after determining that the insured failed to allege facts in support of its breach of contract and bad faith claims; however, the judge said the insured is permitted to file a third amended complaint.

  • February 10, 2021

    Insured: Court’s Ruling Threatens To Cause ‘Grave’ Harm To Small Business Community

    ATLANTA — An insured on Feb. 2 asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of its breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its business losses that were “directly caused” by government “stay-at-home” orders in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the lower court’s “ruling threatens to cause grave and in many cases irreparable harm to Florida’s small business community already suffering from the pandemic’s impact.”

  • February 10, 2021

    Magistrate Recommends Denying Summary Judgment Motions In Hurricane Dorian Dispute

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal magistrate judge on Feb. 5 recommended that a Florida federal court deny motions for summary judgment by an insured and its insurer in a coverage dispute arising from damage to 61-foot yacht caused by Hurricane Dorian, finding that neither party has demonstrated whether the insured’s breach of the Captain Warranty "increased the hazard by any means within the control of the insured.”

  • February 09, 2021

    Health Care Provider: ‘In Time Of Crisis,’ Insurers ‘Rebuffed’ Coronavirus Claims

    NEW YORK — Northwell Health Inc. sued two of its “all-risk” commercial property insurers in a federal New York Court on Feb. 8, arguing that it has experienced hundreds of millions of dollars of costs and losses that are covered under the policies because the presence of the novel coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 disease caused direct physical loss of and/or damage to its covered property and the suspension of its business activities due to the coronavirus “includes a wide variety of procedures, some of which are anything but a matter of choice.”

  • February 09, 2021

    Federal Judge Dismisses ‘Mom And Pop’ Restaurant’s Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — Noting that he “wholeheartedly” regrets that business owners “have had little to no luck seeking recourse in federal court,” a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 8 said he is “compelled” to agree with most of his colleagues and granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a self-proclaimed “mom and pop” South Carolina restaurant owner’s class action seeking coverage for its business closure due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

  • February 09, 2021

    Judge:  Hair Salon Asserts Plausible Facts To Trigger Communicable Diseases Coverage

    DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 4 found that a commercial property insurance policy’s “virus and bacteria” and “consequential loss” exclusions bar business income, extra expense and civil authority coverage for a hair salon insured’s claims arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown orders but that the insured’s claim under the policy’s communicable diseases coverage survives the insurer’s motion to dismiss.

  • February 08, 2021

    Federal Immunity Bars Insured From Filing Claims Against Insurer, Panel Affirms

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 4 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insurer is an arm of the state of Florida and, therefore, the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bars an insured from bringing his claims in federal court.

  • February 08, 2021

    Insured Restaurant Chain Did Not Suffer Physical Loss As A Result Of Shutdown Orders

    TAMPA, Fla. — No coverage is owed for an insured restaurant chain’s business losses caused by shutdown orders issued by state governors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the insured did not sustain a physical loss to any of its insured properties, a Florida federal judge said Feb. 4 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss.

  • February 05, 2021

    Insured Defends Remand Of Coronavirus Coverage Suit After 3 Removal Attempts

    PHILADELPHIA — A restaurant insured on Jan. 21 asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reject a business insurer’s appeal seeking to reverse a lower court’s remand of its coverage lawsuit seeking recovery of damages caused by the novel coronavirus and governmental closure orders, arguing that it seeks solely declaratory relief involving novel state law issues related to the entitlement of coverage under policies issued to Pennsylvania business owners.

  • February 04, 2021

    Insureds Ask Court To Reconsider Dismissal Of RICO Suit Arising From Maria Damage

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Resort hotel insureds on Feb. 1 moved a federal court in Puerto Rico to reconsider or hold in abeyance a Jan. 29 judgment that granted their insurer and insurance adjusters’ motions to dismiss their Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act lawsuit seeking coverage for Hurricane Maria damage.

  • February 04, 2021

    Insureds Ask 3rd Circuit To Consolidate Appeals Of Dismissals Of Coronavirus Suits

    PHILADELPHIA — A restaurant and tavern operator on Jan. 29 joined a motion with seven other insureds asking the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to consolidate their appeals of  lower federal courts’ dismissals of their lawsuits seeking coverage for their business interruption losses caused by the novel coronavirus and the subsequent shutdown orders, contending that consolidation will achieve “significant efficiencies” and “facilitate certification" of "the novel and determinative questions of Pennsylvania law” that are discussed in each appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

  • February 03, 2021

    Insureds Permitted To Amend Complaint To Further State Bad Faith Claim

    HARTFORD, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on Jan. 22 granted a motion filed by insureds to amend their complaint to more fully state their claim for bad faith against their homeowners insurance provider, ruling that such amendment would not be futile.

  • February 03, 2021

    Insurer Failed To Show Novel Coronavirus Did Not Cause Direct, Physical Loss

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California judge on Jan. 28 overruled an insurer’s demurrer in a complaint seeking coverage for damages sustained as a result of the novel coronavirus after determining that the insurer failed to prove that the insured did not sustain a direct physical loss at its facility.

  • February 03, 2021

    Insurer, Insureds Jointly Move For Protective Order In Tornado Coverage Suit

    WINCHESTER, Tenn. — A homeowners insurer and insureds on Feb. 1 jointly moved for a protective order in the insureds’ breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from their tornado property damage.

  • February 03, 2021

    Insurer Responds To Ralph Lauren Corp.’s Coverage Suit Over Coronavirus Losses

    NEWARK, N.J. — An insurer on Jan. 29 opposed Ralph Lauren Corp.’s motion for partial judgment on the pleadings and cross-moved for judgment on the pleadings in the insured’s New Jersey federal lawsuit alleging that the novel coronavirus and subsequent stay-at-home orders have caused it to incur direct physical loss and physical damage, arguing that “this litigation boils down to four straightforward questions.”

  • February 01, 2021

    Restaurant Seeks High Court Review Of Whether Roadwork Damage Caused Covered Loss

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Florida insured on Jan. 14 filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking review of whether construction dust and debris constitutes “direct physical loss” to its restaurant to trigger coverage under an “all-risk” insurance policy and whether a court erred in excluding three of its causation experts under Daubert and its progeny, noting that “certain issues presented overlap with the recent proliferation of COVID-19 insurance cases across the country.”

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