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The Superior Court for the State of New Hampshire has handed down a decision granting a motion for partial summary judgment filed by a hotel company seeking to recover over $100,000,000 in COVID-19 related business interruption losses from eight different insurance companies. The case is Schleicher & Stebbins Hotels, LLC, et al. v. Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Companies, et al. No. 217-2020-CV-00309.

The case had the same fact pattern we have seen a thousand times in COVID-19 and business interruption insurance litigation. The hotels filed claims for business interruption after the New Jersey Governor issued Executive Orders in March 2020, restricting the operation of hotels in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Specifically, the order required the “brick-and-mortar premises of all non-essential retail businesses” to “close to the public as long as th[e] Order remain[ed] in effect.” Although the hotels were able to provide some service during the pandemic, their operations were cut significantly and costs to host guests increased due to strict safety protocols. Those insurance claims were unsuccessful to varying degrees, so the hotels brought suit against the insurers.

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