Taps & Bourbon on Terrace LLC v. Those Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London et al.
A Philadelphia judge overruled Lloyd’s Underwriters of London’s preliminary objections to the case levied against them by restaurant “Taps & Bourbon” for COVID related business interruption. Lloyd’s sought to dismiss the case on the basis of two increasingly common arguments made in the many COVID coverage cases being heard before courts all over the country in recent weeks. Lloyd’s first argument was that business interruption from the virus does not constitute physical loss. Their second argument hinged on the existence of a virus exclusion in their policy with Taps & Bourbon. The Philadelphia restaurant argued that the exclusion was ambiguous, due to the fact that government closures, and not the presence of the virus, caused the losses. The court offered no reasoning or explanation with their order overruling the preliminary objections, but the mere fact that the case was not summarily dismissed should be considered a tentative victory for the restaurant due to the very small number of COVID related business interruption claims across the country getting over the hurdle of a virus exclusion in the subject policy.