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Restaurant owners win suit against insurer for COVID losses

October 29, 2020 GMT

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Two restaurant owners in North Carolina have won a lawsuit they filed accusing their insurance company of not honoring its contract when they had to close their businesses due to the coronavirus, according to a spokesperson for a company run by one of the owners.

A Durham County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Matt Kelly and Giorgios Bakatsias earlier this month regarding the lawsuit that was filed against Cincinnati Insurance Company in May, Jennifer Noble Kelly, spokesperson for Giorgios Hospitality Group, told WRAL-TV Wednesday. They both own restaurants in Durham.

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Kelly and Bakatsias’ lawsuit had asked the insurance company to require “payment for lost business income, extra expenses, and other business related losses” because of the pandemic and “related actions by governmental authorities requiring closure.”

The judge’s ruling said the losses should be covered, but the insurance company is planning an appeal, said Cincinnati Insurance Companies spokeswoman Betsy Ertel.

“We continue to believe that business interruption coverage under our property policy in this case does not apply because there was no structural alteration to property,” Ertel said in a statement to WRAL.