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The fitness company's COVID-19 suit against Zurich can continue



Referring to state law, a Minneapolis state court on Thursday refused to dismiss covid-19 disputes from a corporate fitness and leisure center against a Zurich Insurance Group unit under the builder's risk coverage.

Chanhassen, Minnesota-based Life Time Inc., which had 19 separate construction projects underway in different parts of Minnesota in Hennepin County in March 2020, had a builder risk policy issued by Zurich American Insurance Co., according to Thursday's ruling by Hennepin County Court in Minneapolis Life Time, Inc. et. al. v. Zurich American Insurance Co.

The policy provided coverage for "direct physical loss or damage to" covered property and had a limit of $ 1

00 million per event for each project it covered.

The judgment said although Zurich "Correctly notes" most cases have denied coverage from companies forced to close due to the pandemic, the interpretation of an insurance contract is one of state law and "the court is not bound by these other court decisions but must ensure Minnesota law. "

While the laws of other states have" a narrow view of what direct physical harm is … Minnesota cases are more expansive and allow the claim to continue, "the verdict said.

Judge Kristin A. Siegesmund said she was persuaded by the pro-insurance ruling of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

By refusing to dismiss the disputes, the court said that the plaintiffs have issued facts that the "insured property is damaged in certain ways" which, if proven, "could support a direct physical loss claim" under the builder's law. iskpolicy.

Lawyers in the case had no comment or did not respond to a request for comment.

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