Insurer sues DirecTV and installer over fire loss

Ann Knef Jul. 25, 2007, 8:19am

Illinois Farmers Insurance Co. is seeking $201,190.47 from DirecTV and its subcontractor Premier Communications for a residential fire loss last year at 8009 West Main St. in Belleville.

Farmers filed suit July 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court claiming Premier's installer Rick Riggs overloaded the home's circuit and tripped a breaker on repeated occasions before leaving with the system uninstalled.

The property is owned by Christopher Davis and Natasha Jones.

"Approximately 15 minutes after Mr. Riggs' departure, Christopher Davis noticed smoke rising out of his attic," the complaint states.

"The smoke was part of the fire that occurred in the home's wiring system. Plaintiff avers that Rick Riggs' continual resetting of the circuit breakers caused the home's wiring to overheat, causing the fire to Mr. Davis' home."

The negligence and breach of contract suit claims DirecTV and Premier failed to adequately train its staff on satellite television installation and potential fire hazards.

Farmers is represented by Stephen Robert Clark and Timothy J. McFarlin of Blackwell Sanders in St. Louis.

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