Hotels Score Partial Win Against Insurers in $100M COVID SuitJune 22, 2021
The Superior Court for the State of New Hampshire handed down a decision granting a motion for partial summary judgment filed by a hotel company, which sought to recover over $100 million in COVID-19-related business interruption losses.
The hotels filed claims for business interruption after the New Jersey Governor issued Executive Orders in March 2020, restricting the operation of hotels in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The hotels moved for partial summary judgment that the terms “loss or damage” and “direct physical loss of or damage to property,” as used in the insurance contracts, encompassed the presence of the COVID-19 virus on the premises. The insurers filed a competing motion for summary judgment. The court granted the motion filed by the hotels and denied the cross-motion filed on behalf of all of the insurance companies.
It was a rare policyholder win in a COVID-19 business interruption suit. The majority of cases in which businesses have sued for COVID-related businesses interruption coverage have not succeeded.