Insurer In 22nd and Market Building Collapse Says Coverage Void

Claims demolition contractor lied on application.

On Monday, Berkley Assurance Company of Iowa filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court asking the court to certify that the company’s insurance policy with demolition contractor Griffin Campbell was voided prior to June’s fatal building collapse at 22nd and Market streets. According to the suit, building owner Richard Basciano and his company, STB Investments Corp., were also insured under the policy.

According to the complaint, which names as defendants Campbell, Basciano, STB and the victims who have filed suit, the insurance policy was invalid at the time of the collapse for a variety of reasons. Among the allegations laid out in the suit:

• Campbell attested on his insurance application last winter that he had not been convicted of any fraud-related crimes in the last five years. In 2009, Griffin pleaded guilty to insurance fraud.

• Campbell attested on the application that he had not filed for bankruptcy in the last five years. According to court records, Campbell filed for bankruptcy twice since 2010.

• Campbell hadn’t paid his insurance premium. A payment of approximately $2,500 was due in April, and Berkley claims the company never received it. According to the suit, they canceled the policy on May 1 as a result of non-payment.

• Campbell did not disclose in the application that an excavator would be used. Apparently, he was required to do so.

Attorneys for Campbell and the insurance company were not immediately available for comment. The law firm of Sprague & Sprague, which represents Basciano and STB, declined to comment on the case.

See the full suit below

Berkley Assurance Company vs. Campbell, Basciano, STB Investments, et al.