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Acclaimed Chef Ashley Christensen Files Class Action Lawsuit Seeking Business Interruption Coverage for Policyholders Across North Carolina

Mar 18, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

Action filed by Paynter Law attorneys responsible for securing
groundbreaking victory against Cincinnati Insurance Company

March 15, 2021 (Raleigh, NC) – Paynter Law today filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of  Ashley Christensen and eight of her prominent restaurants seeking to force Cincinnati Insurance  Company to pay business interruption coverage under insurance policies taken out by the  restaurant group. This action – which aims to represent all North Carolina entities covered by  Cincinnati’s standard business interruption coverage – follows Paynter Law’s first-in-the-nation  victory in October 2020, when a North Carolina state court ruled that Cincinnati Insurance must  cover losses sustained by a different restaurant group due to COVID-19-related shutdown orders.  

“In October 2020, Paynter Law secured a groundbreaking and powerful win for our clients in court,” says lead attorney for the Plaintiffs, Gagan Gupta. “With this class action suit, and with  Ms. Christensen’s support, we are seeking to build upon that victory and help policyholders  across our state.”  

The Plaintiff-restaurants include Death & Taxes, Poole’s Diner, Poole’side Pies, Beasley’s  Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s Burgers, and Fox Liquor Bar, all owned and operated by Ashley  Christensen. Ms. Christensen is a local chef, business owner, and multi-time James Beard Award  winner who helped ignite the region’s culinary renaissance.  

On March 17, 2020, with entry of the first government shutdown order, Ms. Christensen was  forced to shutter all of her restaurants. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Christensen’s operations  went from 300 employees to around 50, virtually overnight. Ms. Christensen and her team  purchased insurance coverage for this very kind of business interruption. But as the lawsuit  explains, “Cincinnati has not paid and never had any intention of paying insurance claims filed  by Plaintiffs and the class. Cincinnati’s premeditated strategy to deny all COVID-19-related  claims applies even where an insured’s policy has no virus exclusion.”  

About Paynter Law

With two offices in North Carolina and one in Washington, D.C., Paynter Law is dedicated to protecting the rights of businesses, consumers, and victims of fraud and  negligence, with a focus on insurance disputes, class actions, high-stakes personal injury  litigation, complex commercial cases, intellectual property disputes, and antitrust litigation. More about the firm can be found at: https://www.paynterlaw.com.