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Berkeley Restaurant Chez Panisse Files Suit Over Business Interruption Insurance Claim Denial

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- Famed East Bay restaurant Chez Panisse filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming its insurance company wrongfully denied coverage for losses resulting from government-mandated public health shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the restaurant.

The lawsuit filed by the notable Berkeley restaurant founded in 1971 by chef Alice Waters alleges that AMCO Insurance Company has denied an insurance claim for business interruption losses, despite Chez Panisse having paid premiums for business interruption insurance.

The suit claims AMCO acted in bad faith by categorically denying the claim.

"The servers, cooks, farmers, ranchers and other hard-working people in the Chez Panisse family are seeing their livelihoods in jeopardy because AMCO has declined to live up to its responsibilities as our insurer," said Chez Panisse founder Waters in the press release. "Chez Panisse spent years paying hefty premiums for business interruption insurance and AMCO has an obligation to help provide economic relief to my team and restore the wide-ranging supply chain of small farms and businesses that Chez Panisse relies on to provide fresh and local cuisine."

Chez Panisse is being represented in the suit by California-based Gibbs Law Group, and Washington, D.C.-based Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLC. The two firms are currently reviewing potential claims on behalf of other restaurants and small business owners across the country who have been affected by the refusal to pay business interruption claims by insurance companies.


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