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The US District Court for the Southern District of California has decided that a pair of San Diego barbershops cannot recover income that was lost due to COVID-19 related shutdowns from their insurer, Farmers Group. The case is Pappy’s Barber Shops, Inc. v. Farmers Grp., Inc., No. 20-CV-907-CAB-BLM, 2020 U.S. Dist.  LEXIS 166808 (S.D. Cal. Sep. 11, 2020)

Pappy’s Barber Shops, Inc. and Pappy’s Barber Shop Poway, Inc., each operate a barbershop business in San Diego. Farmers issued Pappy’s Barber Shop an insurance policy effective from February 1, 2020, through February 1, 2021. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 16, 2020, San Diego Mayor Kevin Falconer issued an executive order which prohibited a public gathering of more than 50 people and discouraged non-essential gatherings of any size. Soon after, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, issued an executive order requiring all individuals living in California to stay home except as needed for essential service, and asking those individuals to engage in social distancing when in public. As a result of the executive orders, both plaintiffs, and hundreds of other California businesses, were deemed “non-essential” and were ordered to close their doors.

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