The High Court has ruled that the owners of four different pubs should be compensated by their insurer for financial losses incurred as a result of the pandemic.
Sean’s Bar in Athlone, and three Dublin pubs: The Leopardstown Inn, Lemon & Duke and Sinnott's, sued FBD Insurance for what they claimed were “consequential and ongoing losses” arising out of imposed closures due to Covid-19.
FBD claimed they weren’t covered under its Business Interruption insurance. They argued that it only covers local outbreaks and not national pandemics.
But Mr Justice Denis McDonald disagreed.
In an electronic judgement handed down today, he found that the policy sold by FBD did cover the publican’s losses.
Four pubs have won their case against FBD Insurance for losses incurred as a result of having to close during the pandemic.
The judge said:
“The relevant peril is the imposed closure following outbreaks of infectious or contagious disease on or within 25 miles of the premises”
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How much they’re liable for is still up for debate and will be thrashed out in court at a later date.
At the outset of what turned out to be a lengthy hearing last year, the barrister for
the Dublin pubs said the outcome could be the difference between his clients being able to stay in business, or not.
These cases were seen as “test cases” and with over a thousand other customers waiting in the wings; today’s landmark judgement could have significant financial consequences for FBD.
*Reporting by Frank Greaney