Our policyholder-side Insurance Recovery Practice Team is proud to represent United Policyholders and the National Independent Venue Association in submitting an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in opposition to a motion to dismiss filed by the insurer in Dakota Ventures v. Oregon Mutual Insurance, pending in the District of Oregon. A copy of the brief is here. Our brief advocates for the faithful application of Oregon law, under which insurance policies that contain vague or unclear language are interpreted broadly in favor of the insured, to one of the key issues in many pending business interruption cases: whether the current pandemic can constitute “direct physical loss of or damage to” insured property.
Dakota Ventures operates a restaurant and grill in Washington State and was insured under a policy issued by Oregon-based Oregon Mutual. Dakota Ventures, like many restaurants, closed down in March 2020 due to the pandemic, but was denied coverage for its business income loss.
At this point, it is unknown when the court will rule on the motion to dismiss.