Court Rules Businesses Can Seek Damages for Lockdowns

Court Rules Businesses Can Seek Damages for Lockdowns

Court Rules RE: Lockdowns – History Made!

( – There’s no denying that COVID-19 lockdowns crippled thousands of businesses across the nation, shuttering many once and for all. In light of this, many companies have been trying to figure out if their insurance plans covered monetary losses from the pandemic. In the case of one Louisiana eatery, a state appellate court has said yes.

On Wednesday, June 15, a Louisiana court ruled in a 3-2 vote that Oceana Grill should receive damages from its insurer, Lloyd’s of London, for losses accrued during pandemic lockdowns. According to New Orleans’ EATER magazine, the restaurant’s insurance policy had an ambiguous definition of “direct physical loss or damage.” So, the restaurant’s lawyers were able to argue that COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing requirements effectively equated to the loss of physical space, thus qualifying them for payments.

The enormous Oceana Grill is an iconic tourist destination for many people who travel to New Orleans. When it filed this lawsuit on March 20, 2020, it also became one of the first companies to seek coverage for pandemic losses.

With this ruling, the court set a new precedent. Other businesses will likely be double-checking their insurance policies to see if their insurer should actually pay them for the thousands, if not millions, of lost profit that lockdowns prohibited them from making.

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