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United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
April 23, 2021, Decided; April 23, 2021, Filed
CIVIL ACTION NO. 20-1470 SECTION "B"(2)
[*577] ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court are defendant Twin City Fire Insurance Company's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Rec. Doc. 27), plaintiffs' opposition (Rec. Doc. 35), and defendant's reply (Rec. Doc. 40). For the reasons discussed below,
IT IS ORDERED that the motion (Rec. Doc. 27) is GRANTED.
PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND FACTS OF THE CASE
The instant matter arises from an insurance [**2] dispute over coverage for losses allegedly sustained during the statewide COVID-19 lockdown. Rec. Doc. 1. Plaintiffs Q Clothier New Orleans, LLC; Q Shirtmakers West Village, LLC; Q Custom Clothier Houston, LLC; Q Custom Clothier OKC, LLC; Q Custom Clothier ATL, LLC; Q Clothier Tulsa, LLC; Q Clothier Ft. Worth, LLC; Q Fifty One Digital, LLC; and Q Fifty One, LLC (collectively "Q Clothier") are a collective of limited liability companies that own and manage custom men's clothing stores located in Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Rec. Doc. 35 at 1. Plaintiffs purchased a business owner's policy from defendant Twin City Fire Insurance Company ("Twin City") to cover their multiple locations, which provided property; business personal property; business income and extra expense; stretch coverages; limited fungi, bacteria, or virus coverage; and additional coverage between the period of June 19, 2019 to June 19, 2020. Rec. Doc. 1 at 3.
In March 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell issued a mandatory lockdown of non-essential businesses in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, including plaintiffs' New Orleans location. Rec. Doc. [**3] 1 at 5. Q Clothier submitted a claim to Twin City for losses allegedly incurred by the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Rec. Doc. 27-1 at 5. On March 27, 2020, Twin City denied the claim, stating "even if the virus did cause damage, it is excluded from the policy, and the limited coverage available for losses caused by virus does not apply to the facts of your loss." Id.; Rec. Doc. 1 at 7.
On May 18, 2020, Q Clothier filed the instant complaint in this Court based on complete diversity and an amount in controversy exceeding $75,000 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.1 Rec. Doc. 1 at 2. Q Clothier asserts that it is entitled to coverage under the Business Owner's Policy No. 59 SBA IW5221 SC ("the Policy") for losses from business interruption, extra expenses, action of civil authority, limitations on ingress and egress, and expenses to reduce loss. Id. at 4; Rec. Doc. 35 at 1-2. The [*578] Policy provides that Twin City "will pay for direct physical loss of or physical damage to Covered Property. . .caused by or resulting from a Covered Cause of Loss." Rec. Doc. 27-2 at 45. The policy thereafter defines "Covered Cause of Loss" as "risks of direct physical loss," unless [**4] the loss is otherwise excluded or limited by the Policy. Id. at 46.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
535 F. Supp. 3d 574 *; 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78244 **; 2021 WL 1600247
Q CLOTHIER NEW ORLEANS LLC ET AL VERSUS TWIN CITY FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY AND HARTFORD FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY
coverage, virus, civil authority, physical loss, time element, losses, insurer, insurance contract, cause of loss, courts, business income, physical damage, pleadings, pandemic, argues, insurance policy, extra expense, provisions, suspension, trigger, contract interpretation, unambiguous, business interruption, non-essential, stay-at-home, premises, damages, entitled to coverage, property damage, restoration
Civil Procedure, Judgments, Pretrial Judgments, Judgment on Pleadings, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Preliminary Considerations, Federal & State Interrelationships, Erie Doctrine, Insurance Law, Choice of Law, Choice of Law, Forum & Place, Policy Interpretation, Ambiguous Terms, Construction Against Insurers, Claim, Contract & Practice Issues, Ordinary & Usual Meanings, Coverage Favored, Technical Constructions & Meanings, Entire Contract, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Procedure, Evidence & Trial, Burdens of Proof, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Exclusions, Exclusions, Claims Made Policies, Property Insurance, Coverage, Property Damage, Business Insurance, Property Claims, Remedies, Damages, Compensatory Damages, Business & Corporate Compliance, Breach, Breach of Contract Actions, Elements of Contract Claims, Contracts Law, Third Parties, Joint & Several Contracts, Contracts Law, Nonperformance, Measurement of Damages, Reliance Damages, Consequential Damages, Liability & Performance Standards, Bad Faith & Extracontractual Liability, Elements of Bad Faith, Penalties, Payment Delays & Denials, Settlements, Good Faith & Fair Dealing