At least 40 restaurants are taking legal action against insurers over the non-payment of business interruption claims arising from the coronavirus crisis.
The cases are being taken by members of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) against a number of insurers, including FBD and Specialist Underwriting Services (SUS).
Around 25 of the cases were initiated this week, with a further 15 to 20 cases expected to be filed later this month.
All of the restaurant firms are being represented by Dublin solicitors Robinson O'Neill.
Although a number of high-profile pub and hospitality businesses have already filed similar cases against insurers and brokers, the RAI cases are the largest tranche of Covid-19-related insurance claims to hit the courts.
Among the cases initiated in recent days is an action by the River Café in Dundalk, Co Louth, against FBD.
Several cases were also initiated against SUS, including actions by Bates Restaurant in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, The Venue in Strandhill, Co Sligo, An Bístro Ríoga in Belmullet, Co Mayo, Toni's Bistro in Donegal town, Cronin's Pub in Crosshaven, Co Cork, and Yeats County Inn in Curry, Co Sligo.
RAI chief executive Adrian Cummins criticised the stance taken by many insurers in refusing to pay out on business interruption claims.
He said the association represented smaller businesses which were more vulnerable to economic shocks like the one caused by Covid-19.
Around 300 of the RAI's 3,000 members have consulted the association about their insurance policies.
Roughly 100 of these believe they have very strong cases for their insurers to pay out for business interruption.
"The only way we can go about this unfortunately is to go down the legal route because unfortunately the insurance companies have deep pockets and they are going to grind us down," said Mr Cummins.
"They are going to make every business in the country jump through 100 hoops to get through this process."
Mr Cummins also said it was unfortunate the previous government did not take action on the issue at the onset of the crisis.
"Effectively, if the Government was wise at the beginning of Covid it would have brought in the insurance ombudsman, created a fast track unit in it, and said to every business: 'We will turn around your application very quickly'."
SUS declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Independent.
An FBD spokesman pointed to a statement issued last week in which the insurer said it was strongly of the view its business insurance policies did not cover a pandemic of this nature. FBD has put €22m aside to cover costs that may be incurred from lawsuits it is facing from customers.