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Eatery savours 'precedent setting' court victory over insurer on business interruption

The Supreme Court of Appeal decision in favour of Cape Town restaurant Café Chameleon has been hailed as precedent-setting for other business interruption insurance cases.

Cape Town – The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision in favour of local restaurant Café Chameleon has been hailed as precedent setting for other business interruption insurance cases being heard in lower courts across the country.

After the judgment yesterday, South Africa's largest short-term insurer, Santam, reiterated its decision to apply for leave to appeal last month's Western Cape High Court judgment in the Contingent Business Interruption (CBI) matter between itself and Ma-Afrika Hotels and Stellenbosch Kitchen.

Santam said while there were similarities between its own case and the Café Chameleon and Guardrisk case, there were also “material differences in the initial judgments” handed down by the High Court.

In a unanimous judgment, the SCA dismissed an appeal by Guardrisk Insurance against a ruling upholding Café Chameleon's insurance claim arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

It ordered Guardrisk to pay the costs of the appeal, including the costs of three counsel.

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