Judge skeptical of dental clinic's COVID-19 coverage bid

2019 10 18 17 04 1697 Lawsuit 400

A panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals appeared skeptical of an Iowa dental clinic's bid to force Cincinnati Insurance to pay its losses due to COVID-19 closure orders, according to Law360.

The skepticism came during the first appellate hearing on whether business interruption coverage applies to pandemic-related losses. Counsel for Des Moines, IA-based Oral Surgeons argued that Cincinnati Insurance should cover the losses the dental clinic experienced when it was temporarily barred from conducting nonemergency procedures last year due to orders by the state's governor and dental board.

Two judges on the appellate panel challenged the clinic's position on its "all-risk" property policy. Oral Surgeons is hoping to reverse U.S. District Judge Charles Wolle's decision last September dismissing its suit against Cincinnati, Law360 reported.

More than 1,600 lawsuits nationwide have been filed for business interruption insurance, according to data compiled by the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Appeals have already been filed in 95 of the more than 330 cases in which courts have ruled on motions for dismissal or summary judgment. Oral Surgeons' appeal of the order tossing its suit against Cincinnati was the first to be slated for oral argument.

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