UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
February 16, 1955
TRI-STATE ROOFING COMPANY, a Maryland corporation, Plaintiff,
NEW AMSTERDAM CASUALTY COMPANY, a New York corporation, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLSON
This is an action for a declaratory judgment as authorized by 28 U.S.C.A. § 2201. The jurisdiction is diversity. The parties assert that there is an actual controversy between them. Plaintiff is a Maryland corporation, engaged in business in West Virginia primarily. Defendant is a New York corporation, which issued a comprehensive general liability insurance policy to the plaintiff for the year 1951. The policy was countersigned at Uniontown in this District so that the law of Pennsylvania controls the decision in this case and the parties have so stipulated.
On April 6, 1951, one of plaintiff's employees, while engaged in duties incident to a roofing job in Piedmont, West Virginia, upset a tar pot causing a fire which damaged certain properties. The employee was drawing hot pitch from a pot situate in an area behind a furniture store. When the pot upset, the hot pitch or asphalt fell on the ground and immediately burst into flames and ran through the areaway, spreading the fire so that within a matter of minutes, burning pitch spread to several buildings causing fires and resulting damage to some eleven properties before the fires were brought under control. Plaintiff has effected settlements with the owners of the damaged properties and has paid out $ 4,285.50. Defendant paid one loss in the sum of $ 950 and paid plaintiff $ 50, its contention being that its maximum liability is the sum of $ 1,000. Coverage in the policy is as follows:
'Item 3. The insurance afforded is only with respect to such and so many of the following coverages as are indicated by specific premium charge or charges. The limit of the company's liability against each such coverage shall be as stated herein, subject to all the terms of this policy having reference thereto.
Coverages Limits of Liability Advance Premiums
A-Bodily Injury $50,000 each person
Liability $100,000 each accident $75.00
$ aggregate products
$1,000 each accident
$10,000 aggregate operations
B-Property Damage $10,000 aggregate protective $100.00
Liability $ aggregate products
$10,000 aggregate contractual
Deposit Premium $175.00"
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