California Music Venues Accuse Major Insurance Company of Refusing to Pay Valid Claims For Losses Related to COVID-19 Government Shutdowns

May 14, 2020

Class action led by the Ivy Room alleges that First Mercury categorically denied financial responsibility to music venue policyholders who invested in comprehensive business insurance

A historic, Bay Area-based music venue, Ivy Room, has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of California-based music venues against a major insurance provider, saying the venues were wrongfully denied coverage for losses resulting from government-mandated public health shutdowns related to COVID-19 despite having paid premiums for business interruption policies. Ivy Room is represented by California-based Gibbs Law Group, as well as Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLC.  The firms are actively reviewing potential claims on behalf of small business owners throughout the country who have been affected by insurance companies’ refusal to pay.

Ivy Room, located in Albany, California, is a historic neighborhood bar and music venue that hosts national and local acts in an intimate setting.  The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that First Mercury Insurance Company acted in bad faith by categorically denying claims from music venues arising from California’s mandated interruption of business services.  According to the complaint, First Mercury denies the claims with little or no investigation and without regard for the interests of policyholders.

“Ivy Room and other California music venues secured comprehensive coverage that they reasonably believed would apply to business interruptions under circumstances like these,” said Jeff Kosbie of Gibbs Law Group, and a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Coverage Task Force.  “Music venues are in a particularly difficult position to recover since California government officials have announced that densely occupied public spaces are dangerously unsafe.”

“Music venue operators and other small business owners who have paid business interruption insurance premiums should expect insurers to fulfill the obligations to which they mutually agreed,” said Geoffrey Graber, a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll and head of the firm’s COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Coverage Task Force.

Music venue operators and other small business owners who believe they were wrongfully denied insurance coverage for losses related to COVID-19 and would like to learn more about their legal rights in the Business Interruption Insurance Class Action Lawsuit may contact the Gibbs Law Group and Cohen Milstein COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Coverage Task Force at 800-924-7107.

About Gibbs Law Group

California- based Gibbs Law Group represents small businesses, consumers, whistleblowers, and employees across the U.S. against the world’s largest corporations. Our award-winning lawyers have achieved landmark recoveries and over a billion dollars for our clients in high-stakes complex lawsuits and individual cases involving consumer protection, data breach, digital privacy, and employment law. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including:

  • Daily Journal, “Top Boutique Law Firms in California” (2019)
  • Law360, “Titans of the Plaintiffs Bar- Eric Gibbs” (2019)
  • Law360, “Class Action Practice Group of the Year” (2019)
  • Daily Journal, “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California” (2019)
  • Daily Journal, “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY Award)” (2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2012-2019)

About Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLC

Cohen Milstein is one of the premier plaintiff law firms in the country, handling high-profile, complex litigation. Cohen Milstein has over 90 attorneys in offices in Washington, DC; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Raleigh, NC; and Palm Beach Gardens, FL. We have received numerous accolades for our work in Consumer Protection law:

  • Law360, “Consumer Protection Group of the Year: Cohen Milstein” (2019)
  • Law360, “Practice Group of the Year – Consumer Protection” (2018)
  • The National Law Journal, “Winner – Elite Trial Lawyers – Consumer” (2018)
  • Law360, “Practice Group of the Year – Class Action” (2017)