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Virginia Federal Court Certifies Class and Appoints Kessler Topaz as Class Counsel in State Farm Business Interruption Lawsuit

February 18, 2022

On February 11, 2022, The Honorable Raymond A. Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered an Opinion and Order, inter alia, appointing Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP, Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Angello, P.C., and Glasser and Glasser, P.L.C. as Class Counsel, and certified a class of persons or entities in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a Businessowners insurance policy issued by State Farm on Form CMP-100, including a Loss of Income and Extra Expense endorsement on Form CMP 4705.1 or CMP 4705.2, in effect at any time between March 23, 2020 and June 30, 2020 (the “Closure Period”) that were subject to partial or full business suspension under certain Executive Orders of the U.S. Government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and submitted claims for business income losses and/or extra expenses incurred during the Closure Period that were denied by Defendants.                

Beginning in March 2020 and continuing to the present, Elegant Massage LLC d/b/a Light Stream Spa (“Plaintiff”), and many other similarly situated individuals and businesses, suffered a dramatic financial hardship.  In the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, authorities across the nation, including the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (“CDC”), the White House, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, issued guidance and orders that limited human interaction, closed businesses, and required residents to stay at home. These orders prevented businesses, such as Plaintiff, from being able to operate and generate income.  In light of the federal guidance and the subsequent orders issued by the Governor of Virginia, Plaintiff ceased it operations entirely, resulting in a significant loss of revenue

Given this complete disruption of its business, Plaintiff tendered a claim to Defendants seeking reimbursement for lost income and extra expenses under the policy’s Loss of Income and Extra Expense Coverage.  Defendants, however, wrongfully denied Plaintiff’s claim, refusing to provide any reimbursement, and claiming that Plaintiff’s loss was excluded from coverage. 

Plaintiff filed its initial complaint on May 27, 2020.

Read Opinion and Order