A federal judge who had already ruled in favor of plaintiffs in at least two interruption cases against COVID-19 did so again on Tuesday by refusing to dismiss disputes from a restaurant chain against Cincinnati Insurance Co.
Judge Stephen R. Bough of the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Missouri, upheld KC Hopps LTD. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co. Inc. that the chain had shown that it had suffered a direct physical loss or damage to its property.
"The Court finds that the plaintiff has sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that SARS-CoV-2 was present on its premises, which raises real questions of trial," the judgment said, citing a testimony from a molecular epidemiologist and a chemistry and bioengineering professor emeritus.
The judge also considered that the chain had suffered damage, despite the insurer's claim that the plaintiff had received more in pandemic relief than it claimed in damages.
"The complainant claims that the purpose of the State relief was to keep workers paid and employed, not to compensate the complainant for the lost business income, and therefore the complainant still suffered an 'actual loss. "The court agrees with the plaintiff," it said in the judgment.  The judge agreed that the insurer should be granted a summary judgment on its civil authority and requirements for entry and exit.
Lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.
In September, Judge Bough held Studio 417 Inc . v. Cincinnati Insurance Co. that the plaintiffs "had adequately claimed that it was a physical loss", based on the alleged causal link between the virus and their alleged losses.
That case was consolidated with another, Jacob Rieger & Co., LLC et al. v. Cincinnati Insurance Co. in December, with Judge Bough, who was the plaintiff, having brought a class action in both cases.
He similarly ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a September 21 decision Blue Springs Dental Care LLC et al. v. Owners Insurance Co. in which he denied Lansing, Michigan-based owners' motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a dentist in Kansas City, Missouri. A mediator was assigned the case in March. Catalog