FBD Judgment – Court clarification on compensation for disturbed pubs

The High Court has provided clarification on the extent of losses that Insurance group FBD must cover under its business interruption policy. Certain issues in relation to the scope of losses were raised a test case of four pubs. Following on from our previous articles in relation to this interesting case, Justice Denis McDonald ruled that FBD must indemnify Sean’s Bar in Athlone, as well as the Lemon and Duke, The Leopardstown Inn and Sinnott’s in Dublin as a result of these businesses having to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  It is reported that the ruling will affect an estimated 1,000 pub policies.

In Mr. Justice McDonald’s recent judgment, he provided further clarity concerning the issues to be taken into account by FBD in assessing the amount of compensation to be paid to the businesses.

Mr. Justice McDonald found that the Dublin pubs were subject to an early closing requirement during a number of periods from the 10th of August 2020 and were entitled to be indemnified in respect of the losses they had suffered.  He was also asked to adjudicate on a claim by the pubs for compensation in relation to retaining staff and continuing to pay certain staff while the premises were closed.  He found each of the claims to be partly successful, with the exception of the Leopardstown Inn in light of the evidence.

Mr. Justice McDonald noted the extensive efforts made by the parties to address the issues regarding the quantum of the losses and in relation to those issues that remained outstanding.

The Judge also concluded that FBD is not entitled to pursue any issue in relation to under insurance.

The case will return before the Court next month wherein we will provide a further update in relation to this interesting case.

Please email any queries to clehane@jwod.ie

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