Analysis

Policyholder Attys Decry Treatise's Impact On Pandemic Suits

By Shawn Rice (September 17, 2021, 3:05 PM EDT) -- With billions of dollars at stake in coronavirus business-interruption suits across the country, policyholder attorneys are arguing that courts have erroneously relied on a prominent insurance treatise to find that businesses have not suffered covered "physical loss or damage" because of the pandemic.

A third of the decisions favorable to insurance companies in these hotly contested cases have cited the first half of Section 148:46 of the treatise, Couch on Insurance, a group of policyholder attorneys told Law360. That section sets forth what it characterizes as a "widely held" standard that physical loss or damage requires a "distinct, demonstrable, physical alteration of...

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