An insurer says it shouldn’t have to pay for the collapse of a building in a southwest Mississippi city.
Hudson Specialty Insurance has sued in federal court in Natchez to nullify its policy, saying the policy was voided after the building owner took money from a previous claim but didn’t complete needed repairs, The Enterprise-Journal reported .
The City of McComb sued earlier, seeking $370,000 spent on cleaning up debris after the building’s July 23 collapse.
Both the city and Hudson say Terrance Alexander, who bought the building in 2014 and operated Jubilee Performing Arts Center there, had been warned that roof drains were clogged and the roof was about to fall in. Alexander, who denies those claims, transferred ownership to Talex LLC in 2016. That’s who Hudson was insuring.
The collapse of downtown McComb’s largest building sent bricks toppling onto city streets, and the city cordoned off the surrounding area as contractors tore down the top two floors of the building, which officials feared could fall at any time and cause more damage or injury.
Downtown streets and some businesses in the area were closed for nearly three weeks.
As part of its lawsuit, Hudson said it shouldn’t have to pay for lost income or damages of more than a dozen businesses and individuals. That includes Alexander’s brother Samuel Alexander, who operated a church on the top floor of the building before the collapse.