April 05th, 2023
Southern Orthopaedic Speclalists v. State Farm Fire
Opinion Date: April 4, 2023
Judge: Per Curiam
Areas of Law: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Insurance Law
Appellant Southern Orthopaedic Specialists, L.L.C. (“Southern Orthopaedic”) sued its insurer, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company (“State Farm”), to recover business interruption losses caused by covid-related shutdowns. It also claims that State Farm negligently misrepresented the scope of the policy’s coverage. The district court dismissed these claims as foreclosed by the policy and Louisiana law.
The Fifth Circuit affirmed. The court held that Southern Orthopaedic’s pleadings fall short. They do not allege that covid caused “tangible or corporeal” property damage. Nor do they allege that the presence of covid particles required physically repairing or replacing any part of Southern Orthopaedics’s property. Nor do they claim that the presence of covid necessitated lasting alterations to the property. Without allegations of this nature, Southern Orthopaedic cannot meet the requirement of pleading an “accidental direct physical loss” under the policy.
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