Golden Nugget owner pursuing pandemic business losses

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Businesses lost millions of dollars when they had to close or open at reduced capacity during the pandemic. Attorneys say Louisiana law allows businesses to recover losses from their insurance companies, depending on the type of policy they have.

Billionaire Tilman Fertitta owns the Golden Nugget, Landry’s restaurant and other businesses across the country. Depending on the courts here, the outcome of the lawsuits may be of national interest.

Attorneys for Fertitta say it will take a team of accountants to determine how much the Golden Nugget, Landry’s and his other businesses lost during government-ordered shutdowns or restrictions.

And unlike other states, two judges here have ruled that businesses here should be able to recover losses from their insurance. The judges who signed the summary judgments in favor of Fertitta properties are Judge Clayton Davis and Judge Derrick Key.

Attorney Joey Pousson is part of Fertitta’s team.

“So, while a lot of courts across the country wouldn’t go the way our courts did, because the laws of those states are different, the law of Louisiana is such that we can recover from that which would be one of the reasons we filed here and one of the reasons the insurance companies are fighting so hard to get it out of here,” said Pousson.

The insurance companies are expected to appeal a summary judgment that says the all-risk policies should pay for business losses from the pandemic.

“All risk policy essentially means when the policy is written it says ‘We cover risks of all loss, damage or destruction unless otherwise excluded,'” said Pousson.

If Fertitta prevails, it could influence other states’ laws and insurance policies.

“It is significant because hundreds of these have been filed all over the country, and the outcome in the rest of the country has been different than the outcome has been here. So, that’s the significance of it,” said Pousson.

He says the insurance policy allows plaintiffs to file in any competent jurisdiction and prohibits them from trying to move the case, and that the State Supreme Court has affirmed that.

The insurance companies are expected to appeal the issue of whether they must cover pandemic losses. One of the suits is set for trial Dec. 12.

The Fertitta businesses in the suits are:

  • LANDRY’S, LLC
  • GOLDEN NUGGET LAKE CHARLES, LLC
  • RIVERBOAT CORPORATION OF MISSISSIPPI
  • GOLDEN NUGGET ATLANTIC CITY, LLC
  • GNL V, LLC;
  • GNL, LLC
  • LANDRY’S SEAFOOD HOUSE NEW ORLEANS, INC.
  • LANDRY’S SEAFOOD HOUSE-JAX, INC.
  • GOLDEN NUGGET, LLC
  • FERTITTA ENTERTAINMENT, INC
  • FERTITTA HOSPITALITY, LLC
  • 1600 WEST LOOP SOUTH, LLC.

The insurance companies listed as defendants in the suits are:

  • AIG LEXINGTON
  • GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY
  • AXIS SURPLUS INSURANCE COMPANY
  • BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY SPECIAL TY INSURANCE
  • NATIONAL FIRE & MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY
  • CHUBB (ACE AMERICAN)
  • PICC PROPERTY AND CASUALTY COMPANY, LTD.
  • ARCH SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY
  • INTERSTATE FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY
  • CANOPIUS UNDERWRITING AGENCY
  • EVEREST INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY
  • HCC INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY, PLLC
  • CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD’S LONDON SUBSCRIBING TO FOUR POLICY NUMBERS
  • ONEBEACON INSURANCE GROUP
  • LANDMARK AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY
  • STARR SURPLUS LINES INSURANCE COMPANY.

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