On Monday, March 16th, Ocean Grill, a New Orleans restaurant filed the first-of-its-kind lawsuit asking a state court judge to find that its property and business interruption policy covers losses due to Covid-19 government-mandated closures.
Oceana Grill argued that its "all risk" policy with Lloyd's of London cover its losses since the policy does not exclude losses resulting from viruses or global pandemics.
The Complaint seeks “[a] declaratory judgment determining that the coverage provided under the policy will prevent the plaintiffs from being left without vital coverage acquired to ensure the survival of their business should operations cease due to a global pandemic virus and civil authorities' response.”
At the time the suit was filed, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards had only barred public gatherings of 250 or more, with no exception for restaurants. Later Monday night, the Governor and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued new directives limiting restaurants to carry-out, drive-through and delivery services. (Gov. Edwards also further reduced public gatherings to no more than 50 people).
Multiple States (and local governments) have imposed similar restrictions on restaurants which are certain to impact those businesses and their employees. Stay tuned….