PHILADELPHIA – The owner of a commercial property in Birdsboro claims a counseling firm negligently allowed a destructive fire to occur on the premises and its insurance company failed to cover the resulting damages and costs.

Giovanni and Isabella, LLC of Douglasville filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Oct. 12 versus RSK Counseling, LLC of Wyomissing, Tammy Vermeer of West Lawn and Donegal Mutual Insurance Company of Marietta.

G&I is the owner of premises located on the 100 block of North Furnace Street in Birdsboro. On or about Oct. 16, 2015, G&I leased the premises to RSK, pursuant to the terms of a written lease agreement, the suit says. Furthermore, RSK permitted a portion of these premises to be occupied by Vermeer, to perform its counseling sevices, the suit says.

On or about June 23, the premises leased to RSK and occupied by Vermeer caught fire, allegedly as a result of the use of an open flame from a candle, resulting in extensive damage to the premises totaling more than $500,000.

G&I believed RSK breached its contract by failing to maintain the premises in a good condition and using for its purposes other than its intended one of counseling services. Further, the suit states Donegal refused to pay $500,000 to G&I, per the terms of its insurance policy, which has forced G&I to absorb the cost of repairing and replacing the premises, plus loss of use and rental income.

For counts of breach of contract and negligence, the plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $50,000, plus delay damages, interest, costs and such other relief as the Court may deem equitable and just.

The plaintiff is represented by Jonathan Wheeler in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 171001666

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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