Hundreds of Covid Insurance Suits Tossed in Washington State

Travelers Casualty Insurance Co. of America and several other major insurers defeated Covid-19 coverage challenges from hundreds of businesses, after a federal judge in Washington state found that the pandemic didn’t cause the physical property damage required for their policies to apply.

Judge Barbara J. Rothstein’s May 28 dismissal of the 10 consolidated cases is in line with the majority of courts that have issued rulings siding with insurance companies in their refusal to pay claims related to pandemic-spurred shutdowns.

Since March 2020, struggling businesses have filed at least 1,787 similar cases in state or federal court, according to the University of Pennsylvania Covid Coverage Litigation Tracker.

Most decisions have found that all-risk policies covering direct physical loss of or damage to property don’t cover economic losses from pandemic restrictions.

Rothstein’s ruling involves hundreds of businesses—ranging from law firms to dentists’ offices to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra—that initially filed individual lawsuits in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington.

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