District Court Issues Another Ruling in Favor of Business Owners in COVID-19 Insurance Litigation
Stueve Siegel Hanson, Langdon & Emison, and Miller Schirger recently secured another favorable ruling for business owners denied pandemic-related business interruption coverage by their insurers.
In May, the firms filed a lawsuit on behalf of four locally owned and Kansas City-based dental practices against their insurer, Owners Insurance Company, for refusing to provide coverage for losses from COVID-19. Owners Insurance responded by filing a motion to dismiss, arguing that the dentists were not entitled to coverage.
But on September 21, 2020, Judge Stephen R. Bough, U.S. District Judge for the Western of District of Missouri, denied Owners Insurance’s motion. This Order follows two others issued by Judge Bough, which were the first in the country in favor of insureds for COVID-19 related coverage.
Here, the defendant raised a new argument, claiming that the policy did not cover the plaintiffs’ dental practices because one of them did not shut down completely, but continued to see emergency patients. Judge Bough rejected that argument, concluding that coverage can exist for a slowdown of business caused by COVID-19.
Patrick Stueve, who argued the motion for the Plaintiffs, explained: “This is an important ruling because many businesses that have suffered losses from COVID-19 have continued to operate, albeit in a substantially reduced capacity.”
Click here to read the Order.
Stueve Siegel Hanson, Langdon & Emison, Miller Schirger, and Shaffer Lombardo Shurin are currently representing business owners against insurance companies in business interruption litigation in multiple jurisdictions. More information on this consortium of firms is available here.