A jury has issued a $48.5 million verdict in favor of Baylor College of Medicine in the Covid-19 business interruption coverage it filed against Lloyd’s underwriters, in the first verdict in the matter.
Wednesday’s verdict, which followed a three-day trial and was not officially released as of Friday afternoon, had three components — an award of $42.8 million for business interruption, $3.3 million for additional expenses and $2.3 million for research losses – according to Baylor attorney Murray Fogler of Fogler, Brar, O’Neil & Gray LLP in Houston.
Mr. Fogler said the ruling is expected to be appealed. Lloyd’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
The Texas Court of Appeals for the 14th District in Houston had previously notified Axa XL unit XL Insurance American Inc. and Chubb Ltd. unit ACE American Insurance Co. to dismiss Lloyd’s from the case, Mr. Birds. He said he would appeal the verdicts. Their policies amounted to about 75% of coverage, he said.
He said the reason for the appeals court’s decision was various exclusions in the policies.
Mr. Fogler said the jury’s verdict “shows that a policyholder with the right facts can indeed prove that the virus damages its property” and is an indication that “more courts should allow juries to decide the issue.”
The policyholders’ lawyer Scott D. Greenspan, general counsel at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in New York, who is not involved in the case, said in a statement: “The jury’s verdict confirms what we have always known – COVID-19, like other toxic substances. , causes physical loss or damage to property Insurers’ attempts to minimize the profound effects of covid-19 on property run counter to good science and common sense.
“That’s why insurance companies have fought so hard to keep these cases from going anywhere near a jury. This jury got it right.”