Insurer sues to recover fire damage claim at Belleville business

Ann Knef Aug. 19, 2008, 10:17am

An insurance company that paid $140,000 to settle a Belleville fire claim is seeking reimbursement from a business where the fire allegedly originated.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 11 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, employees of Varsity Club, an eatery located at 6948 West Main St., discarded a cigarette that had not been extinguished in an area known to contain combustibles.

Maryland Casualty Company, as subrogee for Perfection Boutique & Salon, is suing Varsity Club to recover a payment it made for the Aug. 13, 2006 loss.

The insurance company claims Varsity Club is negligent for failing to provide employees with a suitable location for smoking.

"In the normal course of events, the fire that occurred within the kitchen/pantry of the Varsity Club would not have occurred had the Varsity Club used ordinary care," the complaint states. "That this type of event in an ordinary course does not occur absent negligence."

Beyond Perfection is located at 6930 West Main St. in the Shopland Shopping Center.

"That the destruction and the damage of property and inventory owned and/or controlled by Beyond Perfection and its business interruption was a direct and proximate result of the fire…," the complaint states.

Maryland Casualty is represented by Jeffrey C. Arnold of Fisher Karis in Chicago.

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