Phelps secured a win for the first COVID-19 business interruption case to head to trial in the U.S. The case brought against Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London claimed that shutdown orders meant to mitigate the virus’ spread triggered payouts for lost income and other expenses of businesses forced to close or limit services in the early days of the pandemic. The plaintiff claimed that Lloyd’s underwriters must honor insurance claims under the restaurant’s “all risks” property policy. After a three-day bench trial, the Court took the matter under advisement. Judge Paulette Irons denied the plaintiffs’ petition for declaratory relief. This first-of-its-kind trial had been closely monitored by all sides in the estimated 1,500 lawsuits in the U.S. brought by policyholders against their insurers.
Phelps Dunbar represented Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London with a multi-office team including lead trial counsel Allen Miller and lead coverage counsel Ginger Dodd, with assistance from Kevin Welsh.