The owners of a restaurant in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter are asking a Louisiana judge to order some Lloyd’s of London insurers to cover losses from the Covid-19 outbreak -- the first of a growing number of U.S. business-interruption claims to go to trial.
The 500-seat Oceana Grill seeks to persuade Judge
The verdict in the case could set the tone for more than 1,300 other lawsuits against insurers who refused to pay claims on business-interruption policies, saying they don’t cover pandemic-related losses, said Tom Baker, a
“This is the first opportunity business owners have to prove the virus can cause physical damage or loss,” Baker said. “The decision will have an impact on whether other cases can move forward.”
Lawsuits over lost-revenue claims have been filed by all sorts of businesses, from the National Football League’s
Overall, the industry could face at least $100 billion in total underwriting losses from the pandemic, Lloyd’s executives predicted earlier this year. The industry has been on a
Nathan Hambrook-Skinner, a Lloyd’s spokesman, declined to comment Wednesday on the New Orleans trial.
Lloyd’s is the world’s largest insurance market, with members including insurers providing capital to back 93 syndicates, or underwriters, at the end of 2019. Lloyd’s officials said in September they expected Covid-19 related claims for the market to total as much as $6.5 billion.
The case is Cajun Conti LLC v Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No.2020-02558, Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana (New Orleans).
--With assistance from
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.