No Direct Physical Loss or Damage

Benihana v. Allied World et al., case number 650495/2022 (Manhattan Supreme Court)

In this COVID-19 coverage matter, the court was asked to consider whether Benihana could demonstrate “direct physical loss or damage” to property in connection with the virus/pandemic. On behalf of Mound Cotton’s client Allied World, MCWG partner Costantino Suriano argued that both precedent and the policy’s plain language established that this requirement could not be met as a matter of New York law.

“The insurers “lament” the harm caused by the virus, but that does not change the outcomes. COVID attacks the lungs, judge. It affects people, not buildings – not hibachi tables.”

The court agreed, and ordered that the matter be dismissed with prejudice.

Partners Costantino Suriano, Robert Goodman, and Jared Markowitz represent Allied World.

The case was covered in Law360 (subscription required).

Share This