Ringside, Revolution Hall and others sue insurance company over unpaid pandemic claims

Four prominent Portland entertainment venues sued their insurance company Wednesday over unpaid pandemic claims, the latest establishments seeking to recover losses insurers say are excluded from their policies.

The Ringside Steakhouse, Revolution Hall, Mississippi Studios and Polaris Studios filed their suits against Cincinnati Insurance Company in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

All four say the pandemic forced them to shut down their business and that Cincinnati Insurance has improperly denied their claims for compensation. The insurance company declined to comment on pending litigation.

The Ringside is seeking at least $236,500 from loss of business and new expenses caused by the pandemic; Mississippi Studios and Polaris Hall, which share a common owner, seek at least $400,000; Revolution Hall is seeking at least $500,000.

“From a revered, historic restaurant to popular music venues, businesses are deeply feeling the impact of COVID-19,” said Seth Row, an attorney with Miller Nash Graham & Dunn who is representing all those Portland venues. In a statement, he said the businesses paid for “all risk” insurance coverage and expect payment.

More than 400 “business interruption” lawsuits have been filed nationwide since the pandemic started, The New York Times reported in August. Insurance companies have argued that their policies have language that either excludes pandemics or limits the coverage to “physical damage” from a natural disaster.

— Mike Rogoway | [email protected] | twitter: @rogoway | 503-294-7699

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