Jacksonville Jaguars File Suit against Property Insurer
The Jacksonville Jaguars have filed suit against their property insurer, Axis Surplus Insurance Company. The Jaguars have alleged that Axis wrongfully denied coverage after they reported a claim related to COVID-19 losses. Specifically, the Jaguars are alleging that COVID-19 caused direct physical loss of or damage to their properties by physically altering their condition. The lawsuit has been filed in an Illinois court, as that is where Axis is based.
The football team may be in luck that the case is taking place in Illinois rather than Florida. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Florida dismissed a lawsuit based on almost identical facts. A restaurant sued their insurance company under the same allegations, but the judge relied on previous cases dealing with losses from state and local government orders causing economic losses. The judge found that these cases have almost always held that these kinds of losses are not covered by property insurance.
Other courts throughout the country have taken different approaches as to whether COVID-19 causes a direct physical loss, with some finding that as a result of the virus' adhesion to surfaces, there has been a direct physical loss that is covered under the policy. The Jaguars may have better luck with their suit in Illinois, but only time will tell.
This article is not intended to constitute legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.