Federal Court Lawsuit Against Insurance Broker Dismissed.
We obtained dismissal of claims asserted against our insurance broker client for breach of contract and declaratory judgment in connection with a COVID-related business interruption loss. The Court granted our Motion to Dismiss, determining that plaintiff restaurant lacked a viable breach of contract claim against the insurance broker, and thus that the derivative declaratory judgment claim also failed as a matter of law.
The lawsuit arose from pandemic-related, government-mandated business closures and plaintiff’s claim for business interruption losses, which was denied by its insurer. The allegations against our client pertained to alleged breach of the insurance policy and coverage obligations under the policy, which unequivocally stated that the parties to the insurance policy were plaintiff as policyholder and the insurer – not our insurance broker client.
In the Magistrate Judge’s Opinion, adopted by U.S. Middle District of PA Judge Mariani, the Court concluded that our client was not a party to the insurance policy contract and did not agree to undertake any responsibilities or liabilities for the insurer’s coverage determinations, but merely acted as an agent for a plainly disclosed principal (insurer) and facilitated the contract between the parties thereto.