A judge on Wednesday recommended that a U.S. district court in Florida dismiss a COVID-19 business interruption case filed by an Italian restaurant against an XL Group Ltd. entity, but spends much time in its report describing why a comparable case was more successful disputes.
Malaube LLC, which operates an Italian restaurant in Miami, is suing the XL unit Greenwich Insurance Co. in the U.S. District Court in Miami and seeks business interruption coverage for loss of business revenue due to COVID-19 suspensions from the state, according to Wednesday's report by a judge in Malaube LLC v Greenwich Insurance Co. Greenwich filed a motion to dismiss the dispute.
"The defendant's strongest argument is that the plaintiff's amended conformity does not make a claim because the insurance cover only provides coverage for the actual loss of business income if a direct physical loss or damage to the property causes suspension of the plaintiff's activities," the report states. .
"The policy further provides coverage for extra costs during a recovery period, but this also only applies if the insured property suffers direct physical loss or
" The defendant claims that the plaintiff has not made any claim due to the fact that there are no allegations that the insured property has ever suffered a direct physical loss or damage. "
The report states that a decision "dealing with many of the arguments presented" is the decision of August 1
This seems to have been the first victory for policyholders suing insurers for COVID-19-related business interruptions.
"This case is substantially different because the plaintiff has not claimed any physical damage, "said the judge's report." For example, there is no claim that COVID-19 was physically present at the scene.
"Instead, the plaintiff merely claims that two emergency decisions in Florida forced the closure of his restaurant" which the courts have found "is insufficient for a state claim because there must be certain allegations of actual damage.
The parties to the case have 14 days filed a written objection to the report to the district court judge.
On August 13, a federal court in Texas struck another blow to commercial policyholders seeking coverage for coronavirus-related corporate outages and ruled that pandemic-related locks did not constitute a direct physical loss for a group of barbershops.