Eversheds Sutherland 11th Circuit Business Blog
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No “Follow-the-Fortunes” Doctrine Where a Reinsurance Agreement’s Terms Are Plainly Inconsistent with the Doctrine

The Eleventh Circuit in Public Risk Management of Florida v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., 38 F.4th 1298 (11th Cir. June 29, 2022), held that courts cannot infer application of the “follow-the fortunes” doctrine where a reinsurance agreement’s plain and unambiguous language is inconsistent with the doctrine. Public Risk Management of Florida (“PRM”), a self-insured...

Court Denies Coverage in Another Covid-19 Case, This Time Under Georgia Law

Recognizing that every federal and state appellate court has held that the presence of Covid-19 does not cause direct physical harm to a business’s property, the Eleventh Circuit has held again—this time under Georgia law—that Covid-related expenses and losses are not covered by a business insurance policy. In Henry’s Louisiana Grill, Inc. v. Allied Insurance Co. of America, 2022 U.S....

All-Risk Insurance Coverage Doesn’t Cover All Risks from COVID-19

The Eleventh Circuit has answered an important and timely question about insurance coverage for business losses due to COVID-19. Under Florida law, an “all-risk” insurance policy covering direct physical loss or damage does not insure against losses and expenses incurred by businesses as a result of COVID-19. In SA Palm Beach, LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, 2022 U.S....

Interlocutory Appeal Properly Taken from Declaratory Judgment on Insurer’s Duty to Defend; Ambiguous Exclusion Construed in Favor of Coverage

When a liability insurer seeks a declaratory judgment on whether it has a duty to defend and indemnify an insured, and the district court enters an order finding a duty to defend but putting off a decision on the duty to indemnify, is that nonfinal order subject to interlocutory appeal? In James River Insurance Co. v. Ultratec Special Effects Inc., 22 F.4th 1246 (11th Cir. Jan. 13,...

No Direct Physical Loss or Damage, No Coverage: All-Risk Policy Does Not Cover Lost Profits Due to COVID-19 Government Restrictions

The Eleventh Circuit held that an insured’s policy did not cover the lost profits it suffered as a result of government restrictions implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic because the policy only covered “direct physical loss or damage.” Ascent Hospitality Management Co. v. Employers Insurance Co. of Wasau, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 1161 (11th Cir. Jan. 14, 2022), follows just a...

Dismissal of Complaint Against Universal Life Insurer Affirmed Under Georgia Law

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s order in the defendant insurer’s favor, dismissing the complaint and rejecting a claim that the plaintiff’s universal life policy was ambiguous and thus had to be construed against the insurer, in Anderson v. Wilco Life Insurance Co., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 33846 (11th Cir. Nov. 15, 2021). Vanessa Anderson brought a putative class action...

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