Heating Up: New Orleans-Based Oceana Grill Seeks Insurance Coverage for Coronavirus-Caused Business Interruption

In the first of what will likely be an exponentially growing tide of businesses turning to insurance coverage for financial relief from the economic downturn caused by the global coronavirus pandemic and response, on March 17, 2020, a restaurant filed a lawsuit seeking business interruption insurance coverage for alleged losses caused by executive orders issued by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. In Cajun Conti LLC, et al. v. Certain Underwriters, et al., the plaintiff-restaurant (“Oceana Grill”) filed its lawsuit seeking coverage under an alleged “all risks” commercial property insurance policy that Oceana Grill purchased from the defendant-insurer. Oceana Grill alleges that the policy provides “property, business personal property, business income and extra expense, and ordinance or law coverage” caused by “all risks” unless specifically excluded (unlike a “specified” or “named” “perils” policy, which provides coverage for loss resulting from specific, named risks).

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COVID-19 and Emergency Extensions of Time in California State Courts

In these troubling times of COVID-19, it’s useful to be reminded that the California Rules of Court have for some time contained provisions addressing extensions of time based on public emergencies and the illness of counsel.

Two rules in particular speak to this issue. Rule 8.63 of the California Rules of Court directs that the court “must consider” “illness of counsel” or “a personal emergency,” among many other factors, in determining good cause for a requested extension of time. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.63(b) (10).) The rule also directs that “[i]f good cause is shown, the court must extend the time.” (Rule 8.63(a)(3).) And on a broader scale, Rule 8.66 authorizes the Chair of the Judicial Council (i.e., the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court) to extend the time “to do any act required or permitted under the rules” up to 60 days on a statewide basis, if necessary.

Read the full text of this article by partner Paul Killion on the Duane Morris Appellate Review Blog.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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