A restaurant in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, became the latest plaintiff to be denied COVID-19 related business interruption coverage by an insurance company, when a federal district court ruled Wednesday that there was no physical harm under the terms of its policy and that no coverage for due to a virus exclusion.
Real Hospitality LLC, which does business as Ed & # 39 ;s Burger Joint, had filed a federal lawsuit against Travelers Casualty Insurance Co. of America after the Travelers Corp. unit denied coverage for its COVID-19 related business interruption losses, according to the decision of the U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg Real Hospitality, LLC d / b / a Ed & # 39 ;s Burger Joint v Travelers Casualty Insurance Co. of America.
The insurer had claimed that the plaintiff had not shown any physical loss of property or property damage that would trigger the restaurant's business income / extra coverage in its full risk insurance for commercial property. policy and that coverage has also been excluded by policy exclusion of viruses.
The restaurant said it was entitled to coverage because it had lost the use of its business premises and that the virus exclusion did not "clearly and unambiguously" exclude coverage, "according to the decision.
In the decision in favor of the insurer, the court said," By reading the policy as a whole, the court finds that the plaintiff's complaint does not state a claim because it does not claim that any insured property was damaged, or that the plaintiff was permanently abolished any insured property. Consequently, the plaintiff's assertion that "loss of property" reasonably includes loss of usefulness is not sustainable. "or damage under the policy.
The decision cites several other court decisions recently made in favor of insurers in comparable cases, including the Oct. 1
Lawyers in Ed & # 39; s Burger could not be reached for comment.