The wave of COVID-19 litigation is hitting South Florida, but as the old adage goes, the suits seem to be crashing before hitting the shoreline. Recent decisions from the U.S. Southern District dismissed two different lawsuits stemming from COVID-19 claims. The opinions offer a glimpse of how courts are analyzing COVID-19 policy language and may offer insight into the future (or perhaps, more fittingly, the nonfuture) of COVID-19 litigation in Florida.

In Mena Catering v. Scottsdale Insurance, (Case No. 1:20-cv-23661-BLOOM/Louis) and Carrot Love v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Companies ( Case No. 20-23586-Civ-Scola.), U.S. District Judges Beth Bloom and Robert N. Scola Jr. dismissed two complaints after the insurers filed motions to dismiss. In Mena Catering, the plaintiff claimed it experienced a business income loss due to the sudden closure of nearby businesses, group gatherings and events, resulting in the spoilage of perishable food. The catering company also claimed the coronavirus caused a distinct alteration of its property that “could not be repaired through a one-time disinfection and ha[d] permanency” and it was prevented from accessing its own property due to civil authority orders in March 2020.

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