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Owner of nine Boston bars sues insurance company over Covid-19 losses

The Glynn Hospitality Group, which owns bars downtown and in the Back Bay and the South End, is suing its insurance company for notreimbusring it for all the money it's lost due to Covid-19 restrictions, despite having an "all risk" policy.

Glynn filed its suit in Suffolk Superior Court in February. The insurance company, RSUI Indemnity Co. of Atlanta, today had the case move to Boston federal court, because Glynn is seeking more than the $75,000 minimum required for federal suits and because the two parties are based in separate states.

US District Court is also where a judge tossed a similar lawsuit in March by Legal Sea Foods against its insurer over a similar type of policy.

In its complaint Glynn says that it paid extra for a policy that would cover it in the event of a pandemic or other disaster.

It states that Covid-19 orders by Gov. Baker forced it to close all of its facilities March 15, 2020, and that four of the bars - Central Wharf Company, the Brownstone, Boston Sports Grille and Coogan's - remained completely shut as of this past February, while the others - Steling's, Dillon's, the Black Rose, the Granary Tavern and Clery's, were able to reopen with only limited takeout or patio service.

RSUI has yet to answer the lawsuit. However, in other restaurant cases, including the Legal one, insurers have argued that the policies only protect against physical damage to restaurants and that the virus has not harmed any of the restaurants' tables, chairs or other physical possessions.

Complete Glynn complaint (8.1M PDF).

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These types of business interruption claims have been getting dismissed all over the country.

Voting closed 17

That will be the crux of this current suit - if it is clear that all hazards means physical property, the suit will sink. If this is business continuation insurance, there is a stronger case.

The devil will be in the exclusions - most policies require a rider for flood, earthquake, wildfire, sharknado, etc. - larger scale events of overwhelming proportion.

Voting closed 24