Law360 recently spoke to Burns Bowen Bair co-founder Tim Burns regarding a restaurant operator seeking relief from pandemic-related shutdown orders. The operator, Gavrilides Management Co. LLC, is seeking an appeal of a trial court’s July 2020 decision that said there needed to be tangible, physical damage to its properties in order to warrant coverage. Burns argues that “direct physical loss or damage” can also include a temporary loss or use of the property, and that loss of income due to government shutdown orders constitutes a direct physical loss in Gavrilides’ insurance policy.

“I’ve actually known the meaning of that term, and that term included the temporary deprivation of property by civil authority, since I was 5 years old,” Burns said. “Now, my mom didn’t mean she was going to take a sledgehammer and structurally alter my toys. She didn’t mean that she was going to permanently dispossess me of my toys.”

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