First BI Claim By Restaurant Goes to Trial

Lloyd’s of London insurers
January 6, 2021

The owners of the 500-seat Oceana Grill in the New Orleans French Quarter are asking Judge Paulette Irons to order some Lloyd’s of London insurers to cover losses from the COVID-19 outbreak. This is the first in a number of the U.S. business interruption claims to go to trial.

The owners argue that their “all-risks” policy covers losses attributed to a shutdown order issued by the government due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tom Baker, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said the verdict could set the tone for more than 1,300 other lawsuits against insurers who refused to pay claims on business interruption policies, contending that pandemic-related losses are not covered. According to Baker, “This is the first opportunity business owners have to prove the virus can cause physical damage or loss. The decision will have an impact on whether other cases can move forward.”

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