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11th Circuit again rules against policyholder in COVID case

covid litigation

A federal appeals court on Wednesday issued its third ruling this week against a policyholder in a COVID-19-related business interruption lawsuit filed against State Farm Insurance Co. units by an eyewear retailer.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled against Boca Raton, Florida-based Royal Palm Optical Inc. in Royal Palm Optical, Inc. vs. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., State Farm Florida Insurance Co.

As it has previously, the 11th Circuit, which affirmed a ruling by the U.S. District Court in Ft. Pierce, Fla., cited its earlier decision in SA Palm Beach LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London and the ruling by a Florida state appeals court in Commodore, Inc., v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London.

“Royal Palm’s arguments are foreclosed by the interpretation of the phrase ‘direct physical loss of or damage to’” in those decisions, the four-page opinion said.

“Because there is no coverage for the type of purely economic damages that Royal Palm sought under its cited policy provisions, we affirm the decision of the district court.”

Attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.

On Tuesday, the 11th Circuit ruled against restaurants in two similar lawsuits.