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A federal judge in Seattle has dismissed lawsuits filed by hundreds of Washington state businesses seeking insurance coverage for business income lost during the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health orders.

Insurers filed motions to dismiss lawsuits filed by dentists, restaurants, barbershops, law firms, and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. U.S. District Judge Barbara J. Rothstein granted those motions. In her order, Judge Rothstein noted that each of the lawsuits involved “all-risk” policies which provided coverage only in cases of “direct physical loss or damage to” property, but failed to define the term “all-risk.” She noted, though, that long-established insurance law doctrine, holds that the intent of all-risk policies is to cover damage to property, not economic loss.

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