Pennsylvania Record

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Roofing company's dispute over insurance coverage concludes with settlement

State Court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jul 31, 2019


PHILADELPHIA – Litigation brought by a local roofing company pursuing both financial damages and a declaratory judgment to reinstate its insurance coverage and which claimed that defendants who were trusted to select proper insurance policies for it failed to do so, has concluded with a settlement.

On July 1, counsel for plaintiff Palomino Roofing Co., LLC filed a praecipe to mark the instant litigation as settled, discontinued and ended with prejudice. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Palomino Roofing of Philadelphia first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Feb. 28, 2018 versus Circle Insurance Consultants, Inc. and Thomas Houpt, both also of Philadelphia.

On March 25, 2015, Palomino Roofing said it entered into a contract with Drexel University to perform roofing work on a part of Drexel’s campus, located on Spring Garden Street in the University City section of Philadelphia. Pursuant to that contract, Drexel provided Palomino Roofing with insurance requirements – and subsequently, the roofing company charged defendant Houpt with obtaining proper insurance coverage to meet those requirements, the suit said.

The defendants therefore provided Palomino Roofing with insurance policies for both General Liability from Associated Industries Insurance Company and Excess Liability from StarStone National Insurance Company – and the plaintiff accepted them, believing they were sufficient to meet the contractual requirements, the suit says.

On March 7, 2017, a plaintiff named Wayne Jones filed suit against Palomino Roofing and other parties in an underlying action, seeking monetary compensation for personal injuries sustained while working on this Drexel University project. After being served with the complaint, Palomino Roofing provided notice to both Associated Industries and StarStone of the pending litigation, but both insurers refused to provide coverage, citing a “Bodily Injury to Independent Contractors” policy exclusion, the suit said.

“Defendants procured and/or recommended the policies to Palomino Roofing when it knew or should have known that such an exclusion was inappropriate given the nature of Palomino’s work. Defendants were negligent in failing to inform Palomino that the Policies had a ‘sub-contractor exclusion’ and/or procure the appropriate insurance for his needs on the project and pursuant to the requirements,” the suit stated.

Palomino Roofing claimed the defendants breached their duty to it by failing to investigate or gather information sufficient to identify Palomino’s insurance needs or requirements, failing to procure sufficient coverage for Palomino on the project and failing to procure sufficient insurance coverage to meet the requirements, among other charges.

Prior to settlement and for negligence, the plaintiff was seeking a declaratory action to reinstate the desired insurance coverage, any judgment amount which might be entered against Palomino Roofing in the Jones litigation, damages in excess of $50,000, along with interest, attorney’s fees and costs of suit.

The plaintiff was represented by Paul A. Bucco and David S. Makara of Davis Bucco & Ardizzi, in Conshohocken.

The defendants were represented by Christopher E. Martin, Arthur J. Liederman and Kateryna Stupnevich of Morrison Mahoney in Parsippany, N.J. and New York, N.Y.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180202972

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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