The Ivy Room, an independent bar and venue in the East Bay town of Albany, is spearheading a class-action lawsuit against its insurer, First Mercury, over the denial of its business interruption insurance claim. Represented by Oakland’s Gibbs Law Group, the owners of Ivy Room, Summer Gerbing and Lani Torres, hope to rally other shuttered California music venues in their legal fight.
Gerbing and Torres tell KQED they believe their business interruption insurance should protect them from loss of income during their forced closure due to California’s shelter-in-place orders. Their court complaint alleges that First Mercury’s reasons for a claim denial “appear to rest on crabbed readings of coverage language and overbroad readings of exclusions. That gets insurance law exactly backwards—and raises the specter of bad-faith denials.”
First Mercury could not be reached for comment, but experts tell KQED that insurance companies began excluding loss of business due to contagions after the 2003 SARS outbreak. Read the full story from Andrew Gilbert here.
— Nastia Voynovskaya (@nananastia)