Mama Jo's Inc. v. Sparta Insurance Co.
A Florida Restaurant has filed a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court asking the high court to overturn the 11th Circuit’s decision denying it business interruption coverage. The underlying case, which originated in 2014, involves roadwork construction near the eatery that caused dust particles and debris to enter the property and cause losses in revenue. The 11th Circuit upheld the trial court’s determination that this dust did not constitute “physical loss” so as to trigger coverage, opining that physical loss required the property to be “rendered unusable.” Mama Jo’s, Inc. argues that airborne particles, such as dust or virus molecules, constitutes physical loss and points to a circuit split on the issue. Mama Jo’s continues to raise the issue that due to the high volume of cases calling into question the definition of physical loss due to COVID-19, the time is right for the Supreme Court to finally settle the issue. If SCOTUS decides to hear this case, the outcome will necessarily implicate billions of dollars of business interruption coverage sought due to the COVID-19 virus spread across dozens of suits nationwide.