Illinois state appeals court rules against café in COVID case
An Illinois state appeals court on Tuesday affirmed a lower court ruling, holding that a café is not entitled to COVID-19-related business interruption coverage under its policy.
In the first ruling on the issue by an Illinois state appeals court, a three-judge panel ruled against Sweet Berry Café Inc. in South Elgin, Illinois, in coverage litigation filed against Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin-based Society Insurance Inc., according to the ruling in Sweet Berry Inc. v. Society Insurance Inc.
“We hold that neither the presence of the virus at Café’s premises nor the pandemic-triggered executive orders that barred in-person dining at restaurants constitute ‘direct physical loss of or damage to’ Café’s property,” the panel said.
Attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.
There have been five other state appeals court decisions on the issue to date, all of which have gone against policyholders, according to the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School Covid Coverage Litigation Tracker — two in Ohio, and one each in Michigan, Indiana and California.