North Carolina VFD Sues for Full Replacement Value of 1981 Aerial

A North Carolina volunteer fire company whose 1981 aerial ladder truck was damaged at a fire in 2010 has filed suit against its insurance company claiming the insurer has a duty to pay $900,000, the full replacement value of the truck.

Etowah-Horseshoe Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department filed suit in federal court on November 5, 2013 naming American Alternative Insurance Corporation (AAIC) as the sole defendant.

The aerial, a 1981 American LaFrance 75 foot aerial ladder, was damaged at a barn fire on November 24, 2010. The complaint alleges “As a result of an overload event during the fire fight, Ladder 16 sustained a “loss” as defined by the policy, rendering it unusable as ladder truck or aerial.”

According to the complaint, the policy required AAIC to cover “the cost to replace the vehicle with a comparable new vehicle and permanently attached equipment manufactured to standards set by nationally recognized organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)”.  The suit seeks a total of  $619,088 in damages.

Here is a copy of the complaint. Etowah-Horseshoe

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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