A legal case fought in the US over business interruption insurance claims during the Covid-19 pandemic has turned out favourably for the insurer, according to a law firm.

Carlton Fields insurance coverage attorney Andrew Daechsel highlighted a decision made by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York at a 14 May hearing.

In Social Life Magazine Inc v Sentinel Insurance Co, a magazine publisher had sought a preliminary injunction – an expedited ruling that would require the defendant-insurer to pay the company’s business interruption claim if the case was resolved in the plaintiff’s favour.

But the presiding judge Valerie Caproni denied the publisher’s argument that the coronavirus had caused “on-site property damage,” on the basis “it damages lungs – it doesn’t damage printing presses.”

According to Daechsel, the plaintiff’s counsel argued Covid-19 could cause property damage because “the virus, when it lands on something and you touch it, you could die from it”.

Judge Caproni responded: “That damages you. It doesn’t damage the property.

“You get an ‘A’ for effort, you get a gold star for creativity, but this is just not what’s covered under these insurance policies.”