PHILADELPHIA – A city property owner is seeking a declaratory judgment for insurance coverage to indemnify him, in an underlying personal injury action whose subject incident occurred at his residence four years ago.
Joseph Pirrone of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on March 2 versus Guard Insurance Group, Inc. of Wilkes-Barre, Anthony Vassallo, SEPTA and Brahinah Gambrell, all of Philadelphia.
On Jan. 25, 2014, it is alleged that Gambrell slipped and fell on snow while attempting to board a SEPTA bus, while also standing on property owned by Pirrone and occupied by Vassallo on Cheltenham Avenue in Philadelphia, resulting in a number of injuries.
“At the time of this incident, defendant Vassallo had agreed and was contractually obligated to maintain the property, specifically, but not limited to, clearing the sidewalks around the property of snow and ice. Further, defendant Vassallo had agreed and was contractually obligated to purchase insurance for the property, as well as the business thereon. It was further agreed that such insurance policy would provide for the defense and indemnification of plaintiff Pirrone, should a claim arise. The underlying incident involves the rights and obligations of defendants, Guard Insurance Group and Vassallo, and plaintiff, pursuant to an insurance policy issued by defendant, Guard Insurance Group, to defendant Vassallo, for the property at 1800 Cheltenham Avenue,” the suit states.
According to the lawsuit, Guard Insurance issued an insurance policy to defendant Vassallo, effective July 12, 2013, and which was in place at the time of Gambrell’s accident. In turn, Vassallo agreed to purchase an insurance policy providing for the defense and indemnification of Pirrone – something the suit says Guard Insurance knew or should have known.
“Defendant Brahinah Gambrell filed a complaint against plaintiff Joseph Pirrone, in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 25, 2016, docket number 160102842. The underlying complaint alleges, in part, that plaintiff herein, Joseph Pirrone, acted in a negligent manner in not clearing the sidewalk of the business located at 1800 Cheltenham Avenue and this negligence caused defendant Gambrell’s injury, when she slipped and fell on a pile of snow/ice. Defendant Brahinah Gambrell seeks damages from plaintiff herein, Joseph Pirrone, for the alleged injuries sustained in the underlying complaint. Plaintiff Joseph Pirrone joined defendant Anthony Vassallo as a defendant in the underlying matter on Aug. 21, 2017,” the complaint says.
Plaintiff Pirrone is seeking a declaratory judgment that Guard Insurance Group, Inc. is required to provide a defense to him arising out of the alleged incident for which Gambrell filed suit, and is further required to indemnify Pirrone from any judgment, verdict or award entered against him as a result of a lawsuit filed by Gambrell.
The plaintiff is represented by William M. Davis of McMonagle Perri McHugh Mischak Davis, in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180203238
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at firstname.lastname@example.org