State Farm claims tree service caused fire, $500,000 in damage

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Oct 30, 2018

PHILADELPHIA — An insurer is suing Coleman Tree Service LLC, citing breach of contract and negligence.

State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., as subrogee of Kenneth and Denise Richards, filed a complaint on Oct. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Coleman Tree Service LLC, alleging the tree services company failed to follow applicable safety guidelines and regulations.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on March 21, 2017, the subrogors, Kenneth and Denise Richards, contracted with the defendant to remove a large tree from their property in Narberth. During the removal of the tree, a large limb fell onto an electrical service cable that led to a fire and damaged the property in an amount in excess of $500,000, the suit says. 

As a result, State Farm sustained damages in an amount in excess of $500,000 by paying the claim under the insurance policy. 

The plaintiff holds Coleman Tree Service LLC responsible because the defendant allegedly failed to ensure that proper techniques were employed and followed for the safe removal of the tree; failed to adequately instruct, supervise and/or train its employees to properly perform the task; and failed to adequately warn subrogors and others of the dangers resulting from its conduct.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment in its favor and against defendant for compensatory damages, delay damages, interest, costs of suit and such other relief as the court deems just. They are represented by Daniel de Luca of de Luca Levine LLC in Blue Bell.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case No. is 18-cv-04416.

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