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Western District of PA Grants Motion Dismissing Claim for COVID-19 Losses

December 10, 2021

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<p style="text-align: justify;">This month the U.S. District Court for Pennsylvania in the Western District granted a Defendant-Insurer’s <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/motion.pdf">motion</a> to dismiss a plaintiff-dentist’s claim for lost business income stemming from COVID-19.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The dentist had an insurance policy with the defendant that included coverage for lost business income stemming from physical loss or damage to its property and civil authority coverage. The court found there was no cognizable claim alleged under the policy, and that the triggering event under the coverage of “direct physical damage to the building or blanket dental practice personal property” did not apply because the dentistry failed to allege any damage to “practice personal property.”</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The court narrowed in on the plain language of the policy which tied the coverage to actual physical damage to the dentistry, however; the court acknowledged that some courts have permitted claims for coverage relating to COVID-19 business interruption but the facts in the instant matter were distinguishable.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Moving forward, it is important to note how the plain language of insurance policies are a vital consideration for courts moving forward for claims asserting COVID-19 losses.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Alexander Dimeo for his contribution to this post. Please contact <a href="mailto:Haquino@wcmlaw.com">Heather Aquino</a> with any questions.</p>

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