Merlin Law Group’s COVID-19 team, lead by Shane Smith with significant help from our class action co-counsel, filed a strong brief in the Chloe’s Café case.1
We noted in part:
The Court should reject Oregon Mutual’s attempt to improperly limit claims for business interruption losses to situations where the property suffers physical damage. Because the policy affords coverage for physical loss or damage to property, an objectively reasonable insured would expect “loss of” to have a different meaning than “damage to,” particularly given the broad nature of the term “physical damage,” which the policy expressly defines to “[l]oss of use of tangible property that is not physically injured.” Nothing in the policy informs the insured that coverage will be limited when a covered cause of loss, such as a deadly pandemic, causes the insured to experience a physical loss of its property. And Chloe’s Cafe even alleges that the presence of the virus did cause physical damage to its property resulting in the loss. Thus, the policy covers the loss.”
We will update everybody about these cases. We will also note Bill Wilson’s new book, Why Insurance Doesn’t Cover the COVID-19 Pandemic: 20/20 Vision, which argues against coverage for COVID-19 caused business income loss.
Thought For A Friday Afternoon
Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.
1 Chloe’s Cafe v. Oregon Mut. Ins. Co., No 3:20-cv-05467, [Doc. 24, filed Nov. 16, 2020] (N.D. Cal. 2020).