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ALEXANDER B. GIACOBETTI v. INSURANCE PLACEMENT FACILITY PENNSYLVANIA (03/11/83)

decided: March 11, 1983.

ALEXANDER B. GIACOBETTI, ESQUIRE, AS SUBSTITUTED TRUSTEE OF THE MANUSOV FAMILY TRUST AND SUCCESSOR TO HARRY KRACOFF, DORIS KRACOFF, SARA STARK AND NATHAN PETRUSHANSKY, TRUSTEES OF THE MANUSOV FAMILY TRUST, APPELLANT,
v.
INSURANCE PLACEMENT FACILITY OF PENNSYLVANIA



No. 80-3-796, Appeal from Order of Superior Court at No. 497 October Term, 1979, Affirming Judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia at No. 257 January Term, 1976, Pa. Super. , 428 A.2d 252 (1980)

COUNSEL

M. Stuart Goldin, Philadelphia, for appellant.

David R. Strawbridge, Philadelphia, for appellee.

O'Brien, C.j., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott and Hutchinson, JJ. O'Brien, Former C.j., did not participate in the decision of this case.

Author: Roberts

[ 500 Pa. Page 448]

OPINION OF THE COURT

This is an appeal from an order of the Superior Court, 287 Pa. 590, 428 A.2d 252, affirming a judgment of the Court of

[ 500 Pa. Page 449]

Common Pleas of Philadelphia against the former co-trustees of the Manusov Family Trust and in favor of appellee Insurance Placement Facility of Philadelphia. Appellee was the insurer of a portion of the corpus of the Trust under a fire insurance policy which was in effect in April of 1975, when the insured property was destroyed by fire. Suit was brought by the former co-trustees when appellee refused to make payment on the policy. The Court of common pleas entered judgment in favor of appellee on the ground that one of the former co-trustees, Harry Kracoff, had deliberately set the fire.

We conclude that the wrongful act of Harry Kracoff does not excuse appellee from its contractual obligation to the Manusov Family Trust, but that the wrongful act does justify appellee's retention of the share of insurance proceeds to which Harry Kracoff and his "children or issue" would have been entitled as beneficiaries of the Trust. Hence we vacate the order of the Superior Court, and remand to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia for the entry of a judgment consistent with this opinion.

I

The portion of the Manusov Trust destroyed by fire was a brick building which had housed a grocery store. In 1954, Louis Manusov conveyed the building along with the land on which it was situated to seven named trustees, including himself, his sister Freda Kracoff, his brother-in-law Charles Kracoff, and four of his nieces and nephews, Harry Kracoff, Doris Kracoff, Sara Stark, and Nathan Petrushansky. Manusov directed that "rent, income and profits" from the premises were to be applied to "taxes, insurance, cost of maintenance and other expenses in connection with the management of said property." Manusov further directed the payment of $200 per month to himself for the rest of his life, $300 per year "[t]o each of the Grantees ...


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