The Institutes

Ambiguous Policy Language Keeps COVID-19 BI Lawsuit In Court

 Thursday, December 3, 2020

 Bloomberg

In the multibillion-dollar fight over insurance coverage for pandemic-related business losses, a Florida gynecologist succeeded where more than a dozen professional baseball teams and an iconic Hollywood restaurant failed.

Since Covid-19 sparked government-ordered shutdowns in March, judges have dismissed more than four times as many business-interruption lawsuits as they’ve allowed to proceed, according to a preliminary analysis by the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

But some plaintiffs are finding weak spots in the industry’s legal defenses.

Christopher Walker, an Orlando doctor, is one of them. Though his policy -- like many -- contained a provision that Sentinel Insurance Co. contends excluded virus claims, Walker’s lawyer argued that the language used was ambiguous.

A federal judge agreed, keeping the case alive after Sentinel sought a dismissal of the suit brought on behalf of Walker’s practice, UroGyn Specialists of Florida.
Litigation
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