Publicans suing FBD Insurance over its refusal to indemnify them for losses incurred by the Covid pandemic are seeking aggravated damages, the Commercial Court was told.
Michael Cush, senior counsel for two of the Dublin-based pubs, said it is “very difficult” to see the basis for which FBD had seen fit to defend the proceedings given its obligations to customers.
Having heard the evidence of Paul Shanahan, the FBD sales executive who sold a policy to bar Lemon & Duke, and Kate Tobin, the company’s chief underwriting officer, Mr Cush put it to the court to consider making an award for aggravated damages.
Sean’s Bar in Athlone, The Leopardstown Inn, Sinnott’s bar and Lemon & Duke in Dublin, are taking legal action against the insurer as they believe a clause in their policies entitles them to recover losses suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The clause states they are covered if forced to close in the event of “outbreaks of a contagious or infectious disease on the premises or within 25 miles of same”.
It is FBD’s position that the closure of bars was not due to an outbreak of Covid-19 on the premises or within 25 miles, but because of the “national situation”.
All the parties involved are making their closing submissions in the case this week.