A Boston hospitality company behind several bars and restaurants in the Back Bay and downtown is suing its insurer for not covering the business’s financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to court filings.
Glynn Hospitality Group, which owns nine bars and restaurants in the city including The Black Rose, filed its lawsuit against the Atlanta-based RSUI Indemnity Co. in Suffolk Superior Court in February, claiming that the “all-risk commercial property insurance policy” it purchased on Sept. 29, 2019, is supposed to cover lost income and extra expenses caused by the government’s restrictions on bars and restaurants during the pandemic. Glynn says its claims were plainly rejected by RSUI.
The company claims it suffered “substantial loss of business income with substantial incurred extra expenses for renovations, retrofitting, cleaning, training, and re-stocking,” as a result of state and local mandates that forced restaurants to cut down capacity or limit service to takeout and delivery since going back to last spring.
The suit was moved to the US District Court for Massachusetts this week because the two companies are based in different states and Glynn Hospitality is seeking more than the $75,000 minimum for a federal lawsuit, according to court documents.
In its complaint, Glynn Hospitality says all nine of its properties were closed beginning March 15, 2020, the same day Gov. Charlie Baker issued an order that restricted restaurants and bars to only serving takeout. All but four of the businesses had reopened as of February when the complaint was filed. The Brownstone has since reopened while Central Wharf Company, Boston Sports Grille, and Coogan’s remain closed.
The other properties under the Glynn umbrella are Clery’s, Dillon’s, Granary Tavern, and Sterling’s.
A similar court battle between Legal Sea Foods and its insurer came to an end in March when a federal judge dismissed the case, saying the business did not suffer “direct physical loss of or damage to” its properties due to the pandemic.