The Supreme Court of Wisconsin overturned a rare ruling in favor of policyholders in connection with covid-19-related business interruptions on Wednesday, and unanimously joined two other state supreme courts in ruling that a group of restaurants were not entitled to covid-19 corporate interruption protection.
The decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned a district court ruling, according to the decision in Colectivo Coffee Roasters, Inc. et al. v. Social insurancea motion by a Mutual Co. association to circumvent the State Court of Appeal had been granted in the case.
By denying the restaurant’s coverage, the verdict said: “The provisions of the community policy that Colectivo relies on, with the exception of the contamination provision, all require Colectivo to claim a direct physical loss of or damage to either its property or surrounding property.”;
The judgment said: “An insured person suffers a physical” loss “of his property when the property is” destroyed “or affected to such an extent that it cannot be repaired.”
Colectivo’s arguments do not claim “a substantial damage to Colectivo’s physical property that is necessary to trigger coverage”, it said. With regard to the pollution issue, the court said that the state’s emergency decision banning personal dining was also not applicable, in part because they “did not prohibit access to Colectivo’s property, they restricted how the property could be used.”
The policyholder’s attorney Jay A. Urban, from Urban & Taylor sc in Milwaukee, said in a statement: “It is unfortunate and disappointing that our Supreme Court took a narrow view of the coverage of a unique insurance policy that should have covered the bar and restaurant owners. Wisconsin, and was held against not only the business owners but also the restaurant association and the pub league who agreed with our interpretation of this Society policy. “
Insurer Attorney Heidi L. Vogt, von Briesen & Roper, sc in Milwaukee, said in a statement, “We are pleased that Wisconsin’s Supreme Court correctly applied the terms of the Company’s policy in this judgment.”
The statement said: “While these times undeniably remain challenging for many of society’s policyholders and companies affected by the pandemic, this does not change the terms of society’s insurance contracts or create insurance coverage for losses that fall outside the terms of these agreements. It’s the insurance contracts that govern. they should serve as another step towards ending this litigation. “
State Supreme Courts in Iowa and Massachusetts have also ruled against policyholders in this matter.