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Hawaii court lets theater’s COVID lawsuit against Allianz entity go forward



A Hawaii state court has refused to dismiss a Covid-19 business interruption lawsuit filed by a nonprofit theater in Honolulu against an Allianz SE unit.

In Monday’s ruling, the state’s First Circuit Court in Honolulu stayed Hawaii Theater Center v. American Insurance Co . that there were “sufficient allegations in the complaint that state a possible viable claim and give (defendant) reasonable notice of what the case is about.”

The case has had a peripatetic journey. It was first filed in state court in March but was removed to federal court in Honolulu by Allianz unit The American Insurance Co. In August, that court granted the theater’s motion to remand it to state court.

The federal district court̵

7;s ruling said: “While this district regularly construes policies under Hawaii law to determine an insurer’s duty(s) to its insureds … to do so under the circumstances would result in an unnecessary determination of state law.”

Attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.

David E. Weiss, a partner with Reed Smith LLP in San Francisco, who is not involved in the case, said in a statement: “The ruling further supports what we have said all along. That courts should not decide complex and novel questions of fact, such as whether covid-19 may cause physical loss or injury, in motion to dismiss.”

Last month, a jury in state court in Texas 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.


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