Co. Meath's Headfort Arms Hotel Takes Legal Action Against Insurance Company Zurich Over Alleged Failure To Pay Out On Claim For COVID-19-Related Business Disruption
The Headfort Arms Hotel of Kells, Co. Meath, has taken legal action against insurance company Zurich over an alleged failure by the firm to pay out on a claim for COVID-19-related business disruption.
As reported by The Irish Times, the Headford Arms Hotel has launched High Court proceedings over its claim, and is being represented by Richard Kean SC, Darren Lehane SC and Gareth Robinson.
The hotel said that it entered into a policy of insurance with Zurich in October of 2019, and claimed that under said policy, it is entitled to be indemnified for business disruption, including forced closure, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Zurich has maintained that the policy does not cover COVID-19-related losses and only operates in the event of damage occurring at the hotel.
Kean said that the hotel believes that the problems caused to its business by the impact of the pandemic are not insurmountable, and that it can persevere if Zurich pays out on the claim.
The Headfort Arms Hotel is seeking various orders against Zurich, including damages for breach of contract and alleged interference with economic interests as well as declaration that it is entitled to be indemnified.
Judge Statements And Counsel Response
Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds granted, on an ex-parte basis, the Headfort Amrs Hotel permission to serve short notice of its proceedings on the insurance company.
In response to Reynolds' remark that similar claims have been dealt with by the commercial division of the High Court, counsel said that there is an urgency about this specific claim, and that the hotel's current financial situation is such that it needs to take a case before the chancery division of the court to attempt to move the dispute to some form of mediation quickly.
The matter is due to return to the court this week.
The news follows last week's news that a number of test case lawsuits are expected to be filed soon by restaurants that have been refused compensation for COVID-19-related business disruption by their insurers, as well as February's news that the High Court declared that the owners of Sinnotts, the Leopardstown Inn and the Lemon & Duke of Dublin, and Sean's Bar of Athlone are entitled to be compensated by FBD Insurance for COVID-19-related business disruption.
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