An insurer has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by McDonald & # 39 ;s Corp. and two of its franchisees due to the insurer's refusal to defend them in COVID-19 disputes filed by fast food chain employees.
Defendant Austin Mutual Insurance Co., a unit of Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Mutual Insurance Co., filed the motion in the U.S. District Court in Chicago on Thursday McDonald & # 39 ;s Corp., et al. v. Austin Mutual Insurance Co.
Five workers at four McDonald & # 39 ;s restaurants and their family members and cohabitants sued McDonald & # 39 ;s and the franchisees for general inconvenience and negligence due to their decision to remain open during COVD-1
The underlying dispute stated that McDonald's restaurant business "caused … or. injunction may not be granted, faces the risk of physical and emotional harm, and vulnerability "to serious bodily injury or death due to infection," the proposal states.
Among the measures that workers are seeking is adequate protective equipment, a stop to force workers to reuse face coatings and gloves and require employees and customers to wear face clothing. dismiss that it has no obligation to defend McDonald's and the franchisees. "It is clear that the parties to the insurance agreements were intended to provide coverage" to McDonald's and the franchisees "for their liability to a third party for bodily injury that may arise through McDonald's restaurants' operations," the movement states.  "The parties did not intend for Austin Mutual to pay the insured's costs of doing business to establish and enforce minimum levels of basic health and safety standards in their restaurants while remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic", states dismissal of the motion trial.
McDonald & # 39 ;s has incurred more than $ 1.5 million in legal fees and other costs to defend the underlying lawsuit, according to the lawsuit filed in August.
A lawyer for the insurer had no comment, while other lawyers could not be reached.
Laura M. Gregory, a partner of Sloane & Walsh LLP in Boston, who represents both policyholders and insurers and is not involved in cases, said she believes McDonald's is facing an 'uphill battle' in disputes because policy such as insurance clauses are normally triggered. if there has been an injury, and the plaintiff in the underlying dispute is apparently trying to prevent future bodily injury, which would not be covered.
More insurance and risk management news about the coronavirus crisis here . Catalog