PARIS (Reuters) – AXA (AXAF.PA) said on Tuesday it would meet the bulk of claims from some restaurant owners after a Paris court ruled last week the French insurer should pay one owner two-months’ worth of coronavirus-related revenue losses.

The ruling on a disputed contract was seen as opening the door to a wave of similar litigation.

AXA also said it would provide a further 500 million euros ($546 million) in aid for small companies.

Chief executive Thomas Buberl said AXA planned to compensate business interruption losses to the majority of restaurant owners whose contracts were similar to the one studied by the court.

“These contracts represent less than 10% out of total contracts with restaurant owners and I am confident that we will find a solution,” Bubbler said.

“We want to compensate a substantial part of these contracts, we want to do it quickly”.

French insurers have already announced plans to invest 1.7 billion euros in domestic companies, particularly in the hospitality sector. AXA said on top of that, it would invest 500 million euros in the capital of small and mid-sized companies.

“The idea is clearly to reinforce those companies which are weakened by this crisis,” Buberl said.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Mark Potter

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