Owner Of John's Grill Files Suit To Collect On Business Interruption Losses

April 16, 2020
San Francisco Chronicle

A lawsuit was filed Wednesday against The Hartford insurance company by the owner of San Francisco's historic John's Grill after the restaurant could not collect on a claim for business interruption losses due to the coronavirus, attorneys for the restaurant said.

"I did not want to file a lawsuit," owner John Konstin said in a statement. "Hartford now denies coverage, claiming that the specific provision that says we are protected if a 'civil authority' shuts us down, doesn't mean what it says."

All nonessential businesses in San Francisco and the Bay Area have been forced to at least shut down temporarily to help limit the spread of the virus. John's Grill shut down March 16.

San Francisco supervisors on April 7 passed a resolution that, in part, declares the coronavirus an extreme danger to the public in an effort to get insurance companies to cover business interruption claims due to the virus.

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Spokesman Jay Cheng said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara needs to step in because all business interruption claims have been denied.

Apparently, many restaurants are ready to join the lawsuit.

"We are hearing from restaurants and small businesses from all over California and the rest of the country," Brian Danitz, an attorney representing Konstin and John's Grill, said in a statement. "This lawsuit will be followed by many more from business owners who have been unfairly denied coverage during this pandemic." ... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)