Indiana Court Grants Judgment for MCWG’s Client in COVID-19 Coverage Action

On Friday, Mound Cotton’s client Zurich American Insurance Company won its motion for a judgment on the pleadings in a COVID-19 coverage action brought by piano manufacturer Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. and its subsidiary Conn-Selmer, Inc.  The court was asked to consider whether Steinway sufficiently had alleged “direct physical loss of or damage” to property in connection with the virus/pandemic. On behalf of Zurich, Mound Cotton partner Philip C. Silverberg argued that precedent in Indiana and Steinway’s home state of New York, together with the policy’s plain language, established that this requirement could not be met as a matter of law.  Mound Cotton also argued that various exclusions precluded recovery as well.

Judge Stephen R. Bowers of the Indiana Commercial Court, Elkhart County, agreed with Mound Cotton, and dismissed the matter in its entirety: “Even if the Plaintiffs could successfully prove direct physical loss or damage to meet the definition of a potential compensable loss under the policies, the other policy exclusions would preclude recovery.”

Mound Cotton partners Hilary Henkind and Jared Markowitz also contributed to the briefing, and the case is available here: Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., No. 20D02-2103-PL-000069 (Ind. Super. Elkhart Cnty., July 27, 2023).

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