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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

Ace American Sues Over Pleasure Boat Fire

October 24th, 2012 - ACE American Insurance Co. has sued the operator of a Long Island boat yard where two pleasure craft that it insured reportedly were damaged or destroyed by a fire.

The ACE Group unit filed suit against Approved Marine Inc. in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. It brought the action as an admiralty and maritime claim.

ACE American had insured boats owned by two New York residents who had stored their crafts for the winter at a yard in Freeport, N.Y., owned and operated by Approved Marine. The first craft was a 34-foot Mainship Pilot 34 motorboat owned by Scott Mark, while Peter Scalamandre owned the second, a 51-foot Sunseeker Express Camarque.

WNBC-TV reported that on February 1, 2012, a fire at the boat yard began when one boat exploded while workmen were removing an engine. The flames spread to other boats and by the time an estimated 200 firefighters from eight departments got the blaze under control 14 craft had been destroyed.

The Scott boat was declared a total loss, with damages estimated at $185,766. ACE American said that Scalamandre’s boat sustained $191,872 in damages.

In its lawsuit, ACE American said that Approved Marine had a duty to deliver the craft to the boat owners in good condition. In that, Approved Marine allegedly breached its contractual duties.

Besides breach of contract, ACE American also accused Approved Marine of breach of bailment and negligence. The insurer asked for total damages of $377,638.

ACE American sued Approved Marine as subrogee of its two clients. There was no mention in the lawsuit of any insurer for the boat yard owner being involved in the action.

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