Glen Cove restaurant sues insurance firm over Sandy coverage
A Glen Cove restaurant that opened a few months before superstorm Sandy hit has sued a Plainview insurance brokerage for $2 million, claiming the broker let a policy lapse and secretly replaced it with coverage that provided the eatery with just $5,000 to cover storm-related losses.
As a result, the Water's Edge at Jude Thaddeus Landing, which shut down on Oct. 29, the day of the devastating storm last year, said it was unable to reopen until late last month. The restaurant debuted last summer.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in State Supreme Court in Mineola, estimates "business-interruption" and spoiled food losses of $250,000 and $115,000, respectively. The $2 million the restaurant seeks includes punitive damages.
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When reached by telephone, Richard Bower, chief executive of the Plainview insurance brokerage, B&G Group Inc., declined to comment because he hadn't seen the lawsuit.
The seafood and steak restaurant said in the lawsuit it had forwarded insurance premium payments to B&G for a Lloyd's of London policy.
That policy would have covered claims up to $500,000 for spoilage and "business interruption," the complaint said.
The restaurant and its owner, Joseph Weiser, said in the suit that B&G didn't pay the Lloyd's premium. As a result, Lloyd's canceled the policy, and B&G secretly obtained a replacement policy, without advising the plaintiff of either development, the complaint said.
"B&G not only failed to exercise any care or diligence in maintaining the Lloyd's policy and in notifying plaintiff of changes in the Lloyd's policy," the suit said, "but then concealed its errors and omissions from plaintiff."
Because of the storm, the restaurant was without electrical power for 14 days, the complaint said; it was forced to close and couldn't maintain its refrigeration systems.
Robert J. Spence, the restaurant's lawyer, said that because of the deficient insurance coverage, Weiser is behind in payments to vendors and on his commercial and residential mortgages. And he said Weiser has put the property up for sale.
"It's a snowball effect," he said.