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11th Circuit again rules for insurer in COVID case


A federal appeals court on Wednesday affirmed the dismissal of a COVID-19-related business interruption lawsuit filed by a commercial property owner against an Endurance Reinsurance Corp. unit.

Miami-based Frontier Development LLC, which owns and leases commercial properties throughout the United States, was insured under an “all risk”’ insurance policy issued by Endurance American Specialty Insurance Co., according to the ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta in Frontier Development, LLC v. Endurance American Specialty Insurance Co.

Frontier filed suit against Endurance in U.S. District Court in Miami, which ruled in the insurer’s favor. The decision was affirmed by a three-judge appeals court panel and echoed the 11th Circuit’s nine previous decisions on the issue.

Frontier failed to “plausibly allege” that its “losses and expenses were caused by direct physical loss or damage to property — i.e., by ‘a tangible alteration’ of Frontier’s properties as required for coverage under the policy,” the panel said,  citing the 11th Circuit’s earlier ruling in SA Palm Beach LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, et. al.

Attorneys in the case could not be reached for comment.