Insurance

Court overturns class certification for restaurant in COVID case

An Illinois appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that granted a restaurant class-action status allowing it to pursue its COVID-19 coverage litigation based on the governor’s executive order that closed restaurants. on-site dining establishments.

In its decision in Alley 64 Inc. v. Insurance companythe trial court had agreed with many other comparable cases in ruling that the St. Charles, Illinois bar and grill was not entitled to coverage under its policy with the insurance company based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, because the premises were contaminated under the terms of its policy.

The St. Charles court agreed with the plaintiff, however, that he was entitled to class action coverage and certification, under Governor Jay Pritzker’s executive orders prohibiting the on-site consumption of food and beverages in under an “additional coverage” provision in its policy.

He said in his April 2021 decision that the restaurant was entitled to reimbursement for up to $5,000 of actual expenses and up to three consecutive weeks of lost revenue.

The state appeals court overturned that decision in its ruling last week. The additional blanket provision requires restaurant operations to be suspended due to the contamination, according to the ruling.

Alley 64’s “failure to allege the presence of the virus” in its products, goods or premises void its claims for coverage against contamination,” he said.

Coverage under the additional benefit “requires the insured’s operations to be suspended due to contamination. Alley 64 has never alleged that its premises were actually contaminated. Without contamination, there is no contamination coverage under additional coverage,” a panel of three judges unanimously declared, ruling that the restaurant does not have a valid claim for contamination coverage. and therefore did not meet the legal prerequisites for class certification.

Lawyers handling the case did not respond to requests for comment.