The insurer was unsuccessful in seeking to dismiss business interruption claims due to COVID-19 under a pollution policy. New York Botanical Garden v. Allied World Assur., 2021 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6012 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Oct.15, 2021).
The insured was forced to cease operation after executive orders by the governor and mayor were issued in March 2020. The insured also had to reduce its in-person workforce by 100%. The insured's claim for business interruption and contingent business interruption were denied by Allied. The insured sued for a declaratory judgment.
Allied moved to dismiss, arguing that the executive orders were issued for prophylactic reasons in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. They were not issued solely to address the presence of COVID-19 at any non-insured owned location, but were issued broadly to limit the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. The insured responded that its broader pollution liability policy was not a typical civil authority policy that required the physical loss or damage to property.