San Francisco Cliff House restaurant owners sue insurance firm

Owners of the Cliff House restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean at San Francisco's western edge are suing the insurance firm Allianz and its affiliates, claiming the companies didn't honor the national park concessionaire's business interruption policy. 

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court, Dan and Mary Hountalas said they closed the Cliff House temporarily on March 16 to comply with emergency orders imposed to stanch the coronavirus pandemic, but Allianz and its affiliates refused to cover their resulting losses.  

The Hountalases have run the Cliff House concession for 47 years and laid off nearly all 185 of their employees amid the pandemic, according to a statement they released Wednesday about their case. 

Brian Danitz, one of the attorneys representing the Cliff House and its owners, said the insurance companies were "raising a host of baseless excuses to deny the claims."

Danitz said, "Restaurants and other businesses suffering in this pandemic are fed up with being taken advantage of by insurance companies that charge exorbitant premiums and have no intention to cover claims."

Officials with Allianz were not immediately available Thursday to comment on the lawsuit.