by Elizabeth Pineau
The Paris commercial court on Friday ordered Axa to compensate a Parisian restaurateur up to two months of loss of its turnover due to confinement, a first closely monitored by the insurance and catering sectors.
The French insurer has said it intends to appeal this decision.
In a press release, Axa, which insures 13% of French traders and artisans, considers that the court’s decision does not settle the differences of interpretation concerning the guarantees in terms of operating losses provided for in the contract of the restaurateur.
The document, subscribed by a few hundred professionals in the catering industry, Axa, provides for an extension of the guarantee in the event of an administrative closure “imposed by the police, or hygiene or security services”.
This disagreement “will be the subject of a debate on the merits which could not take place before the judge of the references”, writes the insurer.
Stphane Manigold, who owns four Paris restaurants, had taken legal action to obtain that Axa compensate his operating losses due to the confinement which led to the closure of cafes, bars and restaurants via a decree of March 14.
The court, seized in ref by Maison Rostang, the group of Stphane Manigold, judged the request admissible and ordered Axa to pay him “a provision amounting to the sum of 72,878.33 euros”, can we read in the order consult with hooly-news.com.
An expert will be appointed to assess in particular “the amount of damages constituted by the loss of gross margin during the compensation period”.
“It is a collective victory. We can be proud of the French justice system, it is a powerful, clear-cut decision,” said Stphane Manigold, 40, with tears in his eyes, inviting his colleagues to imitate him.
According to the lawyer for the Maison Rostang group, all policyholders with the same clause as their client, which includes an “administrative closure” guarantee, can claim compensation as well.
This French court decision is being watched from the very moment when many small businesses around the world, in Great Britain and the United States in particular, plan to take their insurer to court to be compensated.
(With Maya Nikolaeva, said by Gwnalle Barzic and Henri-Pierre Andr)