The operators of Gut Sonnenhausen near Glonn are arguing with an insurance company about payment for the loss of business in the first lockdown.
The owner's chances are not good.
- "Bright rooms in a stylish 19th century farmhouse with a bistro, bar and a view of the landscape." This is how Gut Sonnenhausen in Glonn is described on the Internet.
But all these amenities cannot be enjoyed because of the compulsory Corona closings.
For the loss of business in the first lockdown, the estate wanted 210,000 euros from its insurance, the liability insurance.
But this refuses.
The case is now being heard before the Munich II Regional Court.
However, the chances are not good: Several restaurateurs have since failed with similar complaints.
Casus crisps is always the same
The casus crispus is always the same.
The restaurateurs' lawyers argue that notifiable diseases are insured under the Infection Protection Act.
So also Corona.
Insurance lawyers see it differently: Corona is not expressly included in the insurance conditions.
It also does not say that all notifiable diseases are insured.
But only those named.
This opinion is shared by the Insurance Chamber of the Regional Court of Munich II. "Currently, I view it restrictively," said Judge Nikolas Kasipovic at the hearing in the Gut Sonnenhausen case.
The insurer's list is to be regarded as conclusive.
Owner: Insurance did not act professionally
"I admit that the insurance policy was not very expensive," said the owner of the estate.
But there were already pandemics back then, such as bird flu.
The insurance company did not act professionally because it did not make any improvements.
Either she wasn't paying attention or she was naive.
"Or she wanted to lure us into this contract, so that we are left in the rain afterwards." Attorney Hannes Heim also said that the insurer could have responded at any time.
He could have increased the premiums for it.
But it is not okay to say: “Everything is listed exhaustively, that's why it is so cheap.” The owner of the property sounded disappointed: he said he no longer had confidence in the insurance company.
Judge: It's difficult with trust
"We have to judge that legally," said the judge, "because it is difficult to trust." The court must interpret the contract.
And this interpretation is currently restrictive.
However, there is still a special sticking point in the Gut Sonnenhausen case.
An employee of the insurance had written in an email that the damage would be covered.
That was "atypical", said the judge.
Therefore, the question now arises as to whether this message is to be seen as an acknowledgment of the insurance company.
Richter advises comparison
The judge saw litigation risk on both sides.
So he advised a comparison.
However, the lawyer for the liability insurance company did not want to promise anything in the courtroom and instead first agreed.
"Well, then we are waiting for an offer from you," said Heim.
If the parties do not agree on a settlement, the court will give a verdict at the end of April.
However, the decision of the Regional Court of Munich II should not be the end of the story.
The jurisprudence on the subject is currently still uncharted territory and in the process of development.
After all, there has been no corona to date.
The regional courts have so far ruled differently.
The first judgments of the next instance have found the insurers right.
In the end, however, the decision will probably lie with the Federal Court of Justice (BGH).