DC Restaurant Sues Insurance Giant for Denial of COVID-19 Coverage

Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLC and Gibbs Law Group LLP have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Washington, DC-based restaurants that were denied insurance coverage for business losses resulting from government-mandated public health counter-measures related to COVID-19, despite having paid premiums for business interruption policies.  

Attorneys at Cohen Milstein and Gibbs Law Group are reviewing potential claims on behalf of restaurant and other small business owners throughout the country who were affected by insurance companies’ refusal to pay. 

The class action lawsuit filed by GCDC Grilled Cheese Bar, a popular comfort food restaurant steps from the White House, alleges among other things, that The Hartford and its subsidiary Sentinel, acted in bad faith by broadly denying valid insurance claims made by restaurants without even investigating or meaningfully considering the claims. Restaurants that thought they had secured comprehensive coverage to insure against severe business interruption risks are facing the prospect of permanent closure due to the insurer’s refusal to honor their insurance policy agreements.

“These restaurant owners took the responsible step of purchasing and paying premiums for insurance coverage to protect their businesses in case they had to suspend operations for reasons far beyond their control. For an insurer to uniformly deny these legitimate claims effectively robs these restaurants and imperils their very survival,” says Geoffrey Graber of Cohen Milstein.

“Small business owners believed that business interruption insurance provided them with coverage for precisely this type of unexpected situation," adds Eric Gibbs of Gibbs Law Group. "Insurers owe it to their customers to fulfill the obligations to which they mutually agreed.”

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