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The Boston Globe

Business

Boylston shop sues insurance firm over bombing claims

More than a year after the Boston Marathon bombings, a Boylston Street print shop has turned to the courts in an attempt to force its insurance company to cover the financial losses it says it sustained as a result of the attack.

The lawsuit, filed last month in Suffolk Superior Court, turns on the question of whether the terrorism insurance Sir Speedy printing carried — and paid extra for — should cover business losses and other costs incurred while the print shop was shut for 14 days after the bombing. The insurer, Public Service Mutual Insurance, based in New York, asserted that the terrorism provisions in its policies are not applicable because the US government never formally certified the bombing as an act of terrorism, the lawsuit states.

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Many companies near the Marathon finish line have wrangled with insurance companies to get reimbursements for lost business and damages. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance reported that the state’s 25 largest property and casualty insurers had declined to make any payments on 85 of 207 claims stemming from the attacks.

In the lawsuit, first reported by the Boston Herald, Sir Speedy said the insurer should pay for the estimated $600,000 in lost business and other costs it incurred. Public Service paid for $37,901 in damages related to the loss of business income during the nine days authorities required Boylston Street businesses to close, according to the lawsuit.

Jim Rudolph, the lawyer representing the print shop, said the payment amounts to only a fraction of the damages that should be covered under Sir Speedy’s terrorism insurance. The insurance company failed to account for losses from work that could not be delivered, employees who were paid while the print shop was closed, and the general decline in revenue in the months that followed the bombing.

“There can be no doubt that the Marathon bombings were an act of terror,” the lawsuit said. “In fact, President Obama publicly declared the Marathon bombings an ‘act of terrorism.’”

The insurance company said in court documents that the policy set limits on the coverage and it was abiding by those restrictions. Public Service declined to comment further.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.

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