Judge Britt Grant’s opinion for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit highlights how badly things have gone for restaurant owners suing their insurers seeking business interruption coverage for shutdowns caused by COVID-19 and the emergency response.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the country have sought to recoup losses from their insurers. But a common problem with that approach has been that the businesses’ insurance policies protect against only ‘direct physical loss of or damage to’ business property,” Grant said. “So far, every federal and state appellate court to consider the issue (including this one) has held that the presence of COVID-19 causes a business’s property intangible harm, rather than direct physical harm. That means COVID-19-related expenses and losses are not covered.”