Actors Playhouse Productions Inc., which operates the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, said it would voluntarily dismiss all claims against reinsurer SCOR SE and focus its lawsuit on SCOR’s subsidiary, General Security, because General Security is the company that provided the theater’s business insurance policy and the insurer that denied its COVID-19 business interruption claim, Law360 reports.
In its filed response, the theater said that General Security should cover its claim because its policy does not have a virus exclusion clause or similar language. Furthermore, other exclusions listed in the policy cannot be rewritten to fit pandemic-related incidents.
“Having chosen not to adopt a virus exclusion, defendants cannot now seek to deny coverage for virus-related losses,” the Miracle Theatre said. “By definition, the novel coronavirus is not a biological agent, not mold and not pollutant.”
Actors Playhouse was forced to temporarily close last spring due to government mandates to stop the spread of COVID-19. The theater filed a business interruption claim with its insurer, General Security, to recoup revenue losses during the closures. Business interruption insurance, part of a business owner’s policy, provides coverage for operating expenses in the event a business must temporarily close due to a disaster. General Security, however, said viruses were not covered under the policy.
In July, Actors Playhouse filed a lawsuit against General Security and SCOR for refusing to cover its business interruption claim. In September SCOR argued that COVID-19-related closures weren’t covered because the theater didn’t suffer any physical damage, as it would have if a fire forced the business to close. The playhouse responded, saying that it suffered a loss in functionality, which should be interpreted as physical damage after the theater was forced to close.
Business interruption insurance attorneys
Beasley Allen lawyers are actively investigating and filing claims against various insurance companies for denial of business interruption coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are involved in advocating for consolidation of these actions in multidistrict litigation (MDL). Dee Miles, head of our Consumer Fraud & Commercial Litigation Section, Rachel Boyd, and Paul Evans, lawyers in the Section, are spearheading this litigation for our firm and are monitoring all MDL developments as they arise. Please contact them if you have any questions or would like to discuss potential claims.