Thomas Keller is the famous chef who owns many upscale restaurants, including The French Laundry and Per Se. He has filed a lawsuit on behalf of his business seeking a declaratory judgment against his insurer, Hartford Fire Insurance Company, and seeks a judgment confirming his insurance company should cover coronavirus-related business losses.
This lawsuit will surely be one of many and will likely establish legal precedent to determine whether businesses facing mandated coronavirus closures are covered by their business interruption insurance policies.
Keller is the first American-born chef with two restaurants simultaneously achieving three-star ratings from the Michelin Guide. Keller’s group has more than ten restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, Miami and California.
Other restaurants, including New Orleans seafood restaurant Oceana Grill, have filed similar lawsuits seeking declaratory judgments that its insurance policies cover civil authority-ordered closures.
This may be a tough battle as many insurance policies, including business interruption policies, do not cover closures due to viruses such as Covid-19. Insurance companies will argue that a retroactively rewriting of existing insurance policies would put the insurance industry at risk.
Cotzen Law has handled many types of litigation matters against insurance companies and is happy to work with you to determine whether your insurance policy would cover your businesses losses related to the coronavirus.