Favorable Ruling in District Court Received for Business Owners in COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Litigation

August 19, 2020

Miller Schirger and co-counsel Stueve Siegel Hanson, Langdon & Emison, and Shaffer Lombardo Shurin recently obtained one of the first favorable rulings for business owners denied pandemic-related business interruption coverage by their insurers.

In June, the firms filed a lawsuit on behalf of K.C. Hopps, a locally owned Kansas City-based restaurant group against its insurer, The Cincinnati Insurance Company, for refusing to provide coverage for losses from COVID-19. Cincinnati responded by filing a motion to dismiss, arguing that K.C. Hopps was not entitled to coverage.

But on August 12, 2020, Judge Stephen R. Bough, United States District Judge for the Western District of Missouri, denied Cincinnati’s motion. In his Order, Judge Bough concluded that allegations that COVID-19 had deprived K.C. Hopps of its property by making it unsafe and unsuitable for customers and others to use, sufficiently stated a claim for coverage. Judge Bough’s Order, along with another Order he filed the same day, are the first rulings in the country in favor of insured for COVID-19 related coverage.

Miller Schirger and co-counsel Stueve Siegel Hanson, Langdon & Emison and Shaffer Lombardo Shurin are currently representing business owners nationwide against insurance companies in business interruption litigation in multiple jurisdictions. In addition, the firms most recently announced two additional class action filings on behalf of three higher education institutions who were similarly denied coverage of claims filed under their insurance policies related to COVID-19.

Read Judge Bough’s Order denying defendants’ motion to dismiss.

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