Pardalis & Nohavicka Subrogation Update: Expert Must Explain and Demonstrate Fire Cause & Origin

Utica First, issued a commercial property insurance policy to Michele Maniscalco and her husband, Salvatore Maniscalco, for their premises located at 430 Jefferson Street in Brooklyn. They leased the property to their company, Infinity Mechanical & Heating, Inc. On June 19, 2011, there was a fire at the building which caused extensive damage. Maniscalco filed an insurance claim with Utica and was reimbursed for the loss pursuant to the terms of the policy. Utica commenced a subrogation action against Infinity alleging negligence. Infinity moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, claiming that there was no evidence that any act or omission by Infinity was the proximate cause of the fire. Utica’s submissions included the affidavit of an expert, who concluded that the cause of the fire was due to the action or inaction of Infinity. However, the court held that the conclusion was based on speculation. Subro action dismissed.

Utica First Ins. Co. v Infinity Mech. & Heating, Inc.
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2015/2015_00358.htm

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