Monday, December 5, 2022

In A Case of First Impression Pennsylvania Superior Court Rules Against COVID-19 Related Business Interrupt Coverage Claim

In the case of MacMiles v. Erie Insurance Exchange, No. 1100 WDA 2021 (Pa. Super. Nov. 30, 2022) (en banc), the Pennsylvania Superior Court reviewed, as an issue of first impression, whether the Plaintiff insured tavern was entitled to business interruption coverage under its policy of insurance related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Opinion, the insurance company denied the claim based on the fact that the Plaintiff’s commercial property itself did not suffer any physical damage.

In the MacMiles case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that it was reaching “the same result as the near-universal majority of courts to have addressed this issue: the policy does not cover mere loss of use of commercial property unaccompanied by physical alteration or other condition immanent in the property that renders the property itself unusable or uninhabitable."

As such, the Pennsylvania Superior Court in this case reversed a trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the insured and directed that judgment on the pleadings be granted in favor of the insurance company.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  Here is a  LINK to the Concurring Opinion.

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