31 03 2022Business impact

Premier Dale v. RSA & Arachas (2022): High Court finds Devlin Hotel not entitled to cover for pandemic losses under RSA policy of insurance

In a judgement that is set to have implications for Insurers, the High Court on 30 March 2022 found a business interruption insurance policy held by the Devlin Hotel in Ranelagh, Dublin, did not cover Covid-19 pandemic closure because the disease did not manifest itself “at” the premises.

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In a 94-page judgment, Mr Justice Denis McDonald determined that the central issue for the court related to the “closure/disease” clause in the policy. This clause covered loss as a consequence of "closure or restrictions placed on the premises on the advice or with the approval of the Medical Officer of Health of the Public Authority and as a result of a notifiable human disease manifesting itself at the premises”. The Devlin had not proved that Covid 19 manifested "at" the premises in accordance with the policy, he found.

The judgement provides greater clarity for future rulings on business interruption claims related to pandemic closures.

The RDJ Litigation team advising RSA Insurance included Jamie Olden, Michael Quinlan, Marianne Lonergan and Fergus Long.

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Jamie Olden

Managing Partner