State Farm blames two companies for fire

By Audrey Holsclaw | Mar 2, 2006

MORGANTOWN -- An insurance company alleges that two Monongalia County construction companies were negligent in extinguishing a fire.

State Farm Insurance claims Alexander Construction, Inc. and Parrotta Paving Company, Inc. did not properly put out a fire they started.

Filed on Feb. 23, the suit states that Bradley and Amy Tomer and James and Rita Herrington owned real estate in Deerwood Village. State Farm Insurance insures both families for fire.

On April 21, 2004, Alexander Construction obtained a commercial burning permit for a nearby property. Parrotta Paving was their subcontractor at the time. Parrotta Paving started the fire to burn vegetation where the foundation for a new home would be. It burned all day, and at about 5 p.m., Parrotta Paving covered the fire with dirt and left for the day.

Filed by attorney Paul A. Burns of Martin and Seibert, the suit states that after Parrotta Paving left, the wind picked up and the fire gathered intensity and moved towards the home of the Haque family. It burned theirhome down to the foundation.

However, the Haque family home is located between the Tomer residence and the Herrington residence. The Tomers lost both interior and exterior items and other personal property. The Herringtons' damage was not as devastating, but they did need $3,000 for repairs.

State Farm Insurance's main claim is that Alexander Construction and
Parrotta Paving did not check to make sure the fire they started was
actually extinguished. State Farm Insurance claims this makes the companies both negligent and liable for the fire.

State Farm Insurance is seeking $100,000 on behalf of the Tomers for their losses and the $3,000 it gave the Herringtons for repairs. It is also seeking punitive damages for mental anguish and to punish and deter both companies from ever making the same mistake again.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 06-C-124

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