Absence of Virus Exclusion Does Not Create Coverage, Fla. Federal Judge Rules



DOCUMENTS
  • Order


MIAMI — A federal magistrate judge has dismissed a COVID-19 coverage action filed against Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Co. by the owner of a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Italian restaurant, rejecting its argument that the absence of a virus in the policy creates coverage for its economic losses.

In a May 4 order, Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida agreed with most courts nationwide that neither government closure orders nor the COVID-19 virus itself causes property damage.

The judge explained that under Florida law, the phrase “direct physical loss of or damage …






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