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Insurance carrier sues Tamaqua apartment operator for damages

Published January 24. 2013 05:04PM

An insurance carrier has filed a civil suit in Schuylkill County court against the owners of the Magestic House in Tamaqua and one of its tenants over an alleged mercury spill.

The suit was started by Imperium Insurance Company, of Altamonte Springs, Fla., as subrogee (on behalf) of Pennrose Properties, LLC, the insured property.

Named defendants were, Lawrence W. Hartranft, who resided in Apt. 3F, of Magistic Apartments, 201 E. Broad S.; and the Estate of Anthony J. Grosek Jr., John B. Rosenthal. and Stuart A. Kessler, trading as Magestic Associates, LP., doing business as the Magestic House.

The suit alleges on Dec. 30, 2010, the apartment management failed to adequately protect the insured property by permitting Hartranft from having unimpeded access to the facility after mercury leaked from his blood pressure machine in Apt. 3F and failed to prevent mercury from being transferred onto the premises when Hartranft walked out of his unit into the hallways and onto an elevator causing danger to the property.

The suit alleges the cost to repairs to the property totaled $49,591.50.

It charges negligence against the operators of the apartment building by leasing or entrusting the property to occupants or tenants for use when they knew or with reasonable exercise of due care should have known that the occupants were not capable of taking care of the property by failing to regularly inspect the house, failed to enforce requirements contained in the lease agreement, failed to adequately warn of the dangers of medical waste, and failed to have an emergency plan in place to prevent mercury from spreading throughout the building.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 against the operators of the apartment and also seeks damages in excess of $50,000 against Hartranft for allegedly allowing damage to occur in the property without due regard for the right and safety of the property and failed to insure the safety of the apartment by allowing mercury to be transferred in the premises, and failed to take propert precaution against mercury.

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