Motorists Commercial Mutual Insurance Company faces a proposed class action lawsuit filed by a Pittsburgh restaurant and bar that alleges its claim for COVID-19-related business losses was wrongfully denied.
According to the complaint out of Allegheny County’s Court of Common Pleas, the plaintiff’s all-risk Motorists property insurance policy included business income, extra expense, civil authority and additional coverages that were applicable to losses sustained as a result of the pandemic and related government closure orders.
After Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued several orders temporarily shuttering non-essential businesses and urging citizens to stay at home, the plaintiff restaurant was forced to shut down entirely as of March 28, 2020, the lawsuit states. The case argues that in light of the government orders, the coronavirus causes property damage in places of business that require gatherings and contact “in areas where there exists a heightened risk of contamination by the COVID-19 virus.”
The suit alleges that the plaintiff business and others similarly situated have therefore suffered “losses, damages, and expenses” in the form of lost business income and property damage that are covered by their Motorists policies.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has directly and adversely affected the business operations of Plaintiff … and other similarly situated businesses, by causing damage and the risk of further harm to the property and its occupants,” the complaint contends.