A Pennsylvania appeals court last week upheld a lower court ruling in favor of a dental practice that sued CNA Financial Corp. for coverage of covid-19-related business interruptions.
Last year, i Timothy A. Ungarean d/b/a Smile Savers Dentistry PC v. CNA and Valley Forge Insurance Co.The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County granted summary judgment to Dr. Hungary.
CNA had argued that interruption coverage would only be triggered if there was damage to the property.
The insurance stated, among other things, that the interruption coverage was triggered “by direct physical loss of or damage to property on the described premises,” and the lower court ruled that the use of the word “or”; showed that the concepts of “loss” and “damage” were separate. Loss can be interpreted to include loss of possession, for example via the covid-19 related shutdowns that forced many businesses to close offices or suspend operations.
On November 30, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg upheld the lower court’s decision.
The appeals court’s decision stated that “based primarily on the court’s considered opinion, we affirm the court’s decision to grant summary judgment and to declare that coverage is owed to Ungarean for his covid-related business losses under the specific terms of the CNA policy.”
CNA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.