A federal appeals court ruled Thursday in favor of a OneBeacon Insurance Group Co. unit in Covid-19-related business break-up disputes filed by gym franchisees.
Franchisees from four Planet Fitness locations sued the OneBeacon unit Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co. to seek coverage under their commercial full-risk insurance, according to the judgment of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta in PF Sunset View, LLC et al. v. Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co.
The U.S. District Court in Fort Pierce, Florida, ruled in favor of the insurance company and was upheld by a unanimous three-judge in the appellate court.
As in previous decisions in the matter, the panel referred to the 11th Circuit’s previous decision in SA Palm Beach v. Some underwriters at Lloyd’s London.
The franchisees’ argument “is a non-starter – binding precedent mandate that franchisees show a” significant change in the insured property “and that losses arising from downtime and extra expenses in response to orders to close covid-19 do not count”, it said. in a confirmation of the judgment of the lower court.
Lawyers in the case did not respond to requests for comment.
The 11th district also issued a pro-insurance ruling in a COVID case on Wednesday.