Insurance firm: Policy didn’t cover ’08 New Year’s Eve bomb threat in Aspen |

Insurance firm: Policy didn’t cover ’08 New Year’s Eve bomb threat in Aspen

Rick CarrollThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – An insurance carrier for Jimmy’s An American Restaurant & Bar claims it is not liable for business the Aspen establishment lost from the New Year’s Eve bomb threat of 2008.The Continental Divide Insurance Co., in response to a lawsuit filed by Jimmy’s, filed court papers lobbying for the dismissal of the case. In a motion dated March 4, Continental Divide argues that Jimmy’s did not have the necessary coverage to recoup alleged financial losses stemming from the downtown Aspen bomb scare.The motion to dismiss comes after Jimmy’s filed suit in Pitkin County District Court in December. Jimmy’s was one of dozens of Aspen restaurants police evacuated on Dec. 31, 2008, when Aspen resident Jim Blanning planted four homemade bombs in the downtown core. The explosives were detonated by a bomb squad out of Grand Junction. No one was injured, but one of the year’s most lucrative nights for Aspen bars and restaurants was a no-go because of the threat. Blanning, 71, was later found dead in vehicle from a self-inflicted gunshot on New Year’s Day, just east of Aspen toward Independence Pass.The lawsuit by Jimmy’s alleges the dining spot is due at least $100,000 from its insurance carrier for losses from the night.Aspen attorney Richard Cummins, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Jimmy’s, said the six-figure amount is derived from the number of paid reservations the Hopkins Avenue restaurant had booked for the night.”The figures are rock solid,” he said. “Everything on New Year’s Eve was pre-paid.”The lawsuit by Jimmy’s maintains that the restaurant should be covered because Blanning committed an act of terrorism. That argument does not hold weight, Continental Divide argues, because there was no physical damage to the property. “Because Jimmy’s Restaurant’s evacuation was not occasioned by physical damage, either to Jimmy’s Restaurant or other surrounding premises, there can be no coverage for Jimmy’s Restaurant’s claimed loss as a matter of law,” the carrier contends. United Divide also references a lawsuit by United Airlines against its insurance carrier over the Sept. 11 attacks. United, like Jimmy’s, had to suspend operations after 9/11, but not because of physical damage to its property, according to United Divide’s motion. An appellate court ruled that United’s claim for damages against its insurance carrier was not valid. “The Second Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that because the shutdown of United’s flights was not a result of physical damage to United’s or an adjacent property, United’s loss of earnings flowing from the shutdown was not covered,” United Divide’s motion says. Cummins disagrees, and said he believes the court will rule against United Divide’s motion to dismiss.”Once the court rules on that my thought is they’ll probably be inclined to settle the case with Jimmy for his losses,” he said. United Divide is represented by attorney Colin Campbell of the Denver firm Campbell, Latiolais & Ruebel

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