The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals asks the Oregon Supreme Court whether the covid-19 virus on an insured premises constitutes “direct physical loss or damage” to property under commercial general liability policies.
IN Oregon Clinic PC v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co .case filed by a 57-site Portland clinic, the U.S. District Court in Portland granted the insurer’s motion to dismiss the case, finding that the clinic did not
“plausibly allege” that either COVID-19 or government orders caused direct physical loss or damage to its property, according to Monday’s order from the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit.
No Oregon “court of appeals, state statute or treatise has yet interpreted the phrase ̵6;direct physical loss or damage’ in the context of a commercial property insurance dispute involving allegations of covid-19,” the 9th Circuit said, certifying its question to Oregon Supreme Court and asks it for its opinion on the matter.
Attorneys in the case had no comment or did not respond to requests for comment.
A dozen state supreme courts have so far ruled on this issue, with only Vermont ruling in favor of policyholders so far.