Berkley Assurance Co., is suing Griffin Campbell Contracting, Richard Basciano (the owner of the collapsed building), and eleven injured victims of the 22nd and Market collapse in order to avoid responsibility for payouts related to the collapse. They claim that missed payments and fraudulent information from Griffin Campbell mean that the insurance policy was null and void by June 5th (the day of the collapse).
The insurance company says that Griffin Campbell lied on insurance forms about his history and experience, and about the specifics of the 22nd and Market demolition. They say that they didn't know about the excavator used (seen in action in this video of negligent demolition work), at the site, nor did they have a clear picture of Griffin Campbell's criminal and bankruptcy histories.
The company also claims that because the contractor missed a payment in April, the policy was automatically cancelled, and was not active at the time of the collapse.
The inclusion of collapse victims in the lawsuit may make sense from a legal standpoint, if not an ethical one. However, the real question is this: if the court decides that the insurance company is not responsible for payouts, it creates a related to the collapse, what will become of the victims and their families? Will they receive remuneration?
· Contractor's insurer in collapse: Policy invalid [Philly.com]