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Restaurant sues insurer over denied COVID claim

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The owners of the Evanston Grill restaurant are the named plaintiffs in a class action suit filed today against State Farm Insurance alleging the company has improperly denied business interuption insurance claims stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attorney Alexander Loftus of Evanston says more than 1,000 businesses that had loss of income and extra expense coverage from State Farm may be affected by similar claim denials.

Loftus says the  social distancing and stay-at-home orders imposed by the state to deal with the pandemic constituted a “civil authority” action that the business owners were entitled to have covered under their policies.

“Thousands of Illinois businesses purchased commercial property insurance policies from State Farm to protect against just this sort of disaster,” Loftus says. “These policies should have guaranteed policyholders the reimbursement of lost income and other expenses in the event that their businesses were suspended.”

The Evanston Grill, at 1047B Chicago Ave., is owned by Hyun Lee and his father, Jaewook Lee.

Loftus says that while the restaurant continues to provide takeout service, it has been devastated by the shutdown orders.

And he says the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court also seeks a declaration that the businesses will be covered “if there is another shut down order should there be a resurgence of the virus this winter.”

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