July 21, 2020

Known for its T-shirts and apparel, the Oaklandish brand made a business out of producing clothing bearing slogans of civic pride for the San Francisco Bay Area city Oakland, Calif., however, Angela Tsay, the brand’s chief executive officer and creative director, said that the 20-year-old company’s ability to cheer for its hometown may be hobbled by its insurance company.

Oaklandish’s insurance company, Sentinel Insurance LTD, denied its business-interruption insurance claim, according to a class-action lawsuit that was filed July 20 in United States District Court for Northern District of California, which is headquartered in San Francisco.

A jury trial was requested by the company’s lawyers Gibbs Law Group, which has offices in Oakland, and Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLC, based in Washington, D.C. The class-action suit will request more than $5 million to cover the damages from the denial of business-interruption insurance.

This group of lawyers has formed a COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Coverage Task Force, which has sued insurance companies on behalf of businesses that claimed denial of business-interruption coverage. For such claims, they have represented businesses such as Mudpie, a 44-year-old of children’s clothing, toys and accessories boutique based in San Francisco’s Fillmore District. Another business that has worked with the task force is Chez Panisse, the world-famous Berkeley, Calif., restaurant.

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