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Kells Irish Pub sues insurance company for payment of COVID-19 losses

PORTLAND, OR —Kells Irish Pub is in court seeking $2 million from its insurance company, arguing it owes it the money to cover losses incurred during the early days of the pandemic. The lawsuit was originally filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, but the insurance company is trying to have it transferred to federal court in Portland.

Kells argues in court papers that Continental Western Group refused to pay more than $2 million in benefits that the pub said was due under their policy.

In their lawsuit, Kells said they were forced to close on March 11, 2020 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

The shutdown “couldn’t have come at a worse time,” the lawsuit says, pointing out that it came just before St. Patrick’s Day, the busiest time of the year.

Kells said they “purchased additional quantities of perishables and beverages, hired additional staff, and hired entertainers to perform at these celebratory events.”

In court papers, the pub argued that even though they were closed they still had to pay for everything

“St. reason for the suspension of operations has been catastrophic.”

Kells said that because of the losses, they were forced to lay off people and cancel orders.

The lawsuit states that when Kells filed a claim, the insurance company dismissed it without investigation, a violation of Oregon law. They also argued that the company had no reason to deny the claim.

The insurance company has yet to respond beyond filing a motion to have the case returned to federal court.

In court documents, the insurance company wrote that since it is based in Iowa and not Oregon, the dispute belongs in federal court.