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PHILADELPHIA MANUFACTURERS MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY v. ROSE (06/27/51)

June 27, 1951

PHILADELPHIA MANUFACTURERS MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
ROSE



Appeal, No. 134, Jan. T., 1951, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1946, No. 4227, in case of Philadelphia Manufacturers Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Max Rose, trading as Northern Metal Company. Order affirmed; reargument refused October 9, 1951.

COUNSEL

George H. Detweiler, with him Robert A. Detweiler, David Fulmer Keely, and Charles W. Sweeney, for appellant.

Lemuel B. Schofield, with him W. Bradley Ward and Marvin Comisky, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Jones, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Drew

[ 368 Pa. Page 364]

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE DREW

Philadelphia Manufacturers Mutual Fire Insurance Company, plaintiff, insured certain real estate owned by Max Rose, defendant. A fire occurred in 1946 and thereafter plaintiff filed a petition for a declaratory judgment to determine whether its policy covered the building damaged by the fire. The learned trial judge held that it did not. Upon exceptions being filed, the court en banc dismissed the proceedings as not being a proper case for a declaratory judgment. An appeal was then taken to this Court. We reversed and remanded it to the court below for consideration and disposition of defendant's exceptions: Phila. Mfrs. Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Rose, 364 Pa. 15, 70 A.2d 316. The court below then sustained defendant's exceptions and entered an order in his favor. Plaintiff against appeals.

[ 368 Pa. Page 365]

The facts are substantially undisputed. In 1936 defendant purchased a large tract of land fronting on the Delaware River in northeast Philadelphia on which were the remains of a building 590 feet long that had been previously damaged by fire. In 1941 the southern 425 feet of this building was rebuilt. At that time the entire west wall was intact for the full length of 590 feet. The north wall was also intact and sections of the east wall as well as part of the roof in the unrepaired area remained in place.

In March of 1943, defendant secured from plaintiff a fire insurance policy covering specifically the repaired portion of the building which was identified as Building No. 20. Paragraph 2-A of that policy provided, inter alia: "ADDITIONS AND EXTENSIONS -- This Policy also covers... (1) additions, extensions, alterations and repairs to buildings and structures herein insured..." While that policy was in force the northern portion of the building was repaired so that from the outside there was one complete building. Inside the building, a corrugated iron wall separated the northern and southern sections and defendant leased each of these sections to different companies. Because paint spraying operations were being carried on in the northern section, plaintiff required that defendant install a sprinkler system near the partition wall as a safety precaution. Defendant promptly complied with this requirement. Thereafter the policy was continually renewed and the third renewal was in effect when the fire occurred on August 8, 1946.

The fire caused considerable damage to the northern section but did not spread to the southern 425 feet of the building. Plaintiff contends that only the section of the building which had been repaired at the time the original policy was issued was covered and that plaintiff is not liable for damage done in the northern section. The learned court below held, however, that the

[ 368 Pa. Page 366]

    northern portion was covered by the Additions and Extensions ...


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