If you watched the film “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood” which stars some of Hollywood’s most popular actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margo Robbie, you may recall a bar scene where Pitt introduces DiCaprio to Al Pacino. That bar, Musso & Frank Grill, which is located in Hollywood, California, has been around since 1919 and is widely recognized for its authenticity and quality of food. With so many years in business, the restaurant has seen “a lot of ups and downs,” according to its chief operating officer [Source: Los Angeles Times].
From the Spanish Flu to the 2008 recession, Musso & Frank Grill has survived it all. But the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for the current owners to overcome.
While the bar’s owners had thought they would have been able to collect something under their business interruption insurance policy seeing that the government issued an order that halted their operations, they instead were notified that “COVID-19 is not a covered cause of loss.” Their denial notice also cited policy language that stated their policy excludes coverage of any “loss or damage caused by or resulting from any virus, bacterium, or other microorganism” that causes illness.”
Although insurers began adding exclusions to their policies after the SARS outbreak, the owners say they aren’t filing a claim for virus-related losses. Instead, the company is seeking coverage after the government, not the virus, ordered nonessential businesses like their bar to close. After the owners of Musso & Frank weren’t able to come to an agreement with their insurer, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, regarding their claim, they filed a lawsuit.
Attorney Representing Musso & Frank Grill says “the policy provisions don’t quite spell out what’s meant by a “loss due to virus.”
The restaurant’s lawyer says that “under California law, [a loss due to a virus] would apply only to cases in which a virus itself was found on the restaurant premises, prompting a shutdown.” He argued “that couldn’t be the case here because no coronavirus was ever there.” The source says that “the proximate cause of the shutdown was a government order that banned the use of the premises,” which is covered by the restaurant’s policy. The owners of Musso & Frank are one of many to file suit against their insurer over the denial of their COVID-19 business interruption claim.
If your insurance company wrongfully denied your business interruption claim or has informed you not to bother filing a claim as your policy does not offer coverage for COVID-19-related losses, it’s time you speak with a California insurance claims denial lawyer. USAttorneys.com works with some of the best insurance claims denial lawyers in California and can connect you with one now.