In a first-of-its-kind trial, Lloyd’s of London underwriters won a court ruling that they do not have to pay a restaurant’s lost income due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The lawsuit filed in March 2020 was the first business interruption insurance case tied to government orders restricting activities due to a novel coronavirus. The case was also the first of the disputes to make it to trial in the U.S., making it a test case for the nearly 1,500 other lawsuits.
Many business interruption lawsuits have resulted in pre-trial rulings, which have favored insurers in most cases.
Cajun Conti LLC, which operates the Oceana Grill in New Orleans, argued its property insurance policy should cover lost income. The all-risk policy did not have a virus exclusion.
Judge Paulette R. Irons granted declaratory judgment to the defendant insurer on Feb. 10 but did not include a written opinion.
The lack of a written opinion could give Cajun Conti a broader range of arguments on appeal, insurance recovery attorney Rhonda D. Orin told Claims Journal.
“Following a full trial on the merits, the court ruled correctly,” Ginger Dodd, an attorney representing Lloyd’s underwriters, told Bloomberg Law in an emailed statement.
Photo shows the Oceana Grill in the New Orleans French Quarter (Artie04 / CC BY-SA 3.0)
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