Shipbuilder’s COVID Insurance Lawsuit Revived by Vermont High Court (Reuters )

Shipbuilder’s COVID Insurance Lawsuit Revived by Vermont High Court

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 Excess & Surplus Lines Litigation

The Vermont Supreme Court revived a military shipbuilder’s lawsuit for insurance coverage of lost income and extra expenses incurred in dealing with the virus that causes COVID-19, becoming the first state high court to rule for the policyholder in such cases.

In a 3-2 split Friday, the majority said Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) had cleared the state’s ‘extremely low bar’ for initial pleadings by alleging that the virus adheres to surfaces, turning them into vectors for disease that must be counteracted with barriers and other physical modifications.

‘To be clear, this opinion does not state that what occurred in insured’s shipyards is ‘direct physical loss or damage to property’ under the policy,’ and HII must still prove its case on remand, Associate Justice Harold Eaton Jr wrote. He was joined by Chief Justice Paul Reiber and retired Associate Justice Denise Johnson.

The dissenters said Covid harms people, not property.

HII spokesman Danny Hernandez said the company was ‘very pleased’ with the decision and looks forward to litigating in Franklin County Superior Court, where HII filed suit in September 2020.

Claims Pages Staff Writers are dedicated professionals covering a broad spectrum of insurance topics, including auto, catastrophe, education & training, fraud, legislation, liability, life & health, litigation, property, risk management, technology, underwriting, and workers' compensation. With over 25 years of distribution, our publication brings you accurate and timely information to keep you informed and ahead in the claims industry.

External References & Further Reading

Mid-America Catastrophe ServicesWeller SalvageGRIP(Globe Roof Inspection Program)

  Recent Provider Listings

Serving Santa Clara County
California Contractors General Drywall Contractors Water Damage
Serving Kentucky Statewide - CLM Member
Kentucky Attorneys & Law Firms
Serving Massachusetts, Connecticut & Rhode Island
Connecticut Massachusetts Rhode Island Fire Investigations