Ill. Panel Tosses Steakhouse Chain's Virus Coverage Appeal

By Ben Zigterman (May 23, 2022, 9:38 PM EDT) -- An Illinois state appeals court upheld the dismissal of a COVID-19 coverage suit from a chain of steakhouses, finding that a contamination exclusion in its policy with Zurich American Insurance Co. prevents coverage.

Because Firebirds International LLC alleged that the coronavirus was present at its wood-fired grill restaurants, a three-judge panel said Friday that the exclusion clearly applied.

While the chain had argued that the exclusion was meant for environmental pollutants, the panel held that the inclusion of "virus" in the exclusion was not out of place.

"In Zurich's policies, 'virus' is not the outlier in a group of only pollutants and environmental...

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