Mohawk Gaming Enterprises, LLC v. Affiliated FM Insurance Co.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York recently ruled in favor of Affiliated FM Insurance Company in a dispute with a casino over business interruption coverage. The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort was forced to close by the State of New York when students at St. Lawrence College tested positive for COVID-19 during the spring of 2020. The New York federal court granted Affiliated FM’s cross-motion for summary judgment, ruling that no physical loss was present at the insured property or the nearby college sufficient to trigger coverage under the civil authority provision of the policy. Notably, due to the five-mile radius requirement contained in the policy, the court was required to also rule on whether there was direct physical loss at St. Lawrence College which, although only four miles away, is located over the US/Canadian border in Cornwall, Ontario.