It would be great if in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, that the world could simply focus on health, safety, family and employee issues, but the lawsuits have started. We will monitor them as they will ramp up. Many state and federal courts are shutting down or slowing down so it is unclear when the Covid related suits will actually see a day in court. In New Orleans, an interesting, (albeit somewhat disturbing in the timing), lawsuit has been filed seeking a declaratory judgement against the Governor of Louisiana and global insurer Lloyds of London. Plaintiff Cajun Conti – Oceana Grill Restaurant is seeking property and business interruption insurance from Lloyds, even before they have apparently made a claim. The suit before insurance claim and denial is odd. The suit may be politically motivated. The lawsuit is attached hereto.
Plaintiff restaurant seeks “property damage” for virus contamination of its restaurant, and “business interruption” coverage for the obvious shutdown brought about by government order. If you subscribe to Law360 there is an interesting write-up at: http://tinyurl.com/qscl9m8 “Oceana Grill, which is in New Orleans’ French Quarter, argued that its “all risk” policy with the Lloyd’s underwriters should kick in under the circumstances, noting that the policy doesn’t contain any provisions excluding coverage for losses stemming from viruses or global pandemics.” (Law360) “In its suit, Oceana Grill noted that its policy with the Lloyd’s underwriters requires the existence of a “direct physical loss” to property for coverage to apply. According to the restaurant, that requirement is satisfied by the coronavirus pandemic, given that the virus can remain on surfaces for days. Both Governor Edwards and Mayor Cantrell cited concerns over possible physical damage to properties to support their restrictions.” (Law360)