New Mexico ASC can proceed in pandemic-related suit against insurer, judge says 

Marcus Robertson -

A lawsuit brought by Albuquerque (N.M.) Ambulatory Eye Surgery Center against Chicago-based insurance company CNA can proceed despite issues with some of the plaintiff's claims, U.S. District Judge Kea Riggs said Oct. 13, according to court documents.

The eye center said CNA acted in bad faith when it denied a claim for pandemic-related losses without visiting the property or viewing public information, but Judge Riggs said it isn't clear if those losses are covered by AAESC's policy with CNA, according to Law360.

The judge also ruled that the alleged presence of COVID-19 at the eye center's property was not enough to show "physical loss or damage," which would typically be covered under AAESC's policy.

A majority of courts have sided with insurers and ruled that government stay-at-home orders did not result in covered losses, according to the University of Pennsylvania's COVID-19 coverage litigation tracker. AAESC's suit is one of 703 similar disputes, according to the site.

The ambulatory health care industry has brought the second-highest amount of coverage denial lawsuits related to losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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