GRANADA – A judge in Granada has ruled that an insurer must pay €80,000 compensation to a restaurant. The establishment had to close for 80 days from March last year. This was during the worst phase of the pandemic to prevent the spread of the corona virus.
It was the period when the government ordered the closure of all non-essential activities. The court ruled that the cessation of the company’s activities imposed by the government was covered by the insurance policy. And must therefore be compensated.
Grounds for compensation
The restaurant was forced to close for 80 days from March 16, 2020. However, the crux of the lawsuit was to determine whether there was any coverage in the restaurant’s policy. This was dependant on whether the situation that arose after the royal decision of 14 March and which led to the closure of the restaurant, would be grounds for compensation.
The court has ruled that the cessation of the company’s activity, imposed by the government as part of the measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus, is covered by the establishment’s policy and is therefore subject to compensation. As a result, the insurer must now pay the company €80,000 in damages.
Cessation of activity
As added to the resolution, when taking out the insurance, the owner of the establishment expressly requested that the policy be extended to include the cessation of activity. At his request, this extension, for which the owner had to pay a higher premium, was signed.
In addition, the judge is of the opinion that “nor can it be assumed that the pandemic situation, which gave rise to the approval of the measures contained in the Royal Decree declaring the state of emergency, can be regarded as force majeure. This is because the possibility of periodic suffering from pandemics is a fact recognised by the insurance industry itself. The Civil Code defines ‘force majeure’ as events which could not have been foreseen or which, foreseeable, were unavoidable.