Pa. Agency Sued Over Alleged Failure to Suggest Flood Insurance for Beverage Company

May 23, 2005

An insurance agency failed to tell a beverage company its warehouse sat in a 100-year flood plain, causing the company to suffer $8.4 million in flood damage, a lawsuit claims.

Latrobe-based LeNature’s Inc. recently filed suit against Pittsburgh-based Seubert & Associates Inc., claiming the insurer didn’t recommend that the beverage maker buy coverage from the federal National Flood Insurance Program.

LeNature’s needed that coverage because its Youngwood facility sat in a flood plain, according to the Westmoreland County Court lawsuit.

During the September floods caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan, floodwaters destroyed tea leaves and supplies stored at the warehouse, the lawsuit said. It said the company lost several million dollars because of business interruptions caused by the flood.

Because of the flood plain issue, the company’s insurance carrier, Continental Casualty Co., of Chicago, refused to pay a claim on the company’s business interruption policy, LeNature’s said.

LeNature’s seeks punitive damages and the return of a substantial portion of $1.6 million in premiums it paid to Seubert and Continental Casualty.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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