A Broadway musical biopic production of entertainer Tina Turner that was canceled due to Covid-19 is entitled to coverage from a Chubb Ltd. unit, a New York state appeals court ruled on Tuesday, upholding a lower court ruling.
A three-judge panel of the New York-based New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, affirmed a lower court, ruling that a communicable disease exception to coverage by Chubb unit Chubb Insurance Co. of Europe SE did not apply. to the production, according to the judgment in Tina Turner Musical LLC v. Chubb Insurance Co. of Europe SE.
The lower court “properly concluded that plaintiff’s losses resulting from the cancellation of its Broadway show during the COVID-19 pandemic are not covered by the policy’s communicable disease exclusion,” the two-page ruling said.
“Contrary to defendant’s contention, the exclusion did not clearly and unequivocally exclude from coverage losses covered by communicable diseases that were of such a systemic nature as to lead to quarantine or travel advisory orders by a national or international body or agencies,” it said.
“Rather, giving the exclusion a strict and narrow construction and resolving any ambiguity against the defendant, we find that it excludes losses resulting from quarantine or travel advisory orders issued by a national or international body or agency in response to a communicable disease,” the ruling said.
“Because plaintiff’s losses arose from executive orders issued by the Governor of New York and the Mayor of New York prohibiting performances and assemblies in theaters, the exemption did not apply. Plaintiff’s claim for consequential damages is properly pleaded.”
A New York state order on March 12, 2020 barred a theater with a capacity of 500 or more from holding any additional performances, which was followed by a similar order on March 16 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to the March 2021 complaint, which seeks to unspecified damages.
The show opened on Broadway in November 2019.
Attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.