National Fruit faces lawsuit

Posted: August 26, 2014

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — City-based National Fruit Product Co. is being taken to federal court by an insurance company trying to get out of paying a claim.

The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co. — which is used by National Fruit — filed the lawsuit on Aug. 18 in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg, according to online court records.

Court documents indicate National Fruit President, CEO and Chairman David C. Gum Jr. was to be served with the lawsuit.

Charter Oak is based in Connecticut.

In March, one of National Fruit’s buildings at 701 Fairmont Ave., was damaged, according to the suit.

“National Fruit filed a claim for the Loss in the amount of $503,700 under the Commercial Insurance Policy issued to National Fruit by Charter Oak,” the suit states. “Charter Oak conducted an investigation into the cause of the Loss and determined that the Loss resulted from faulty, inadequate, or defective design, specifications, workmanship, repair, construction, and/or renovation.”

According to the complaint, National Fruit’s policy with Charter Oak had an exclusion for faulty or inadequate design, workmanship and materials.

The insurance company is seeking to have the court declare that National Fruit’s loss is excluded under its policy through the “Faulty Workmanship Exclusion.”

It also is seeking “such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper,” the suit states.

Several attempts to reach Gum for comment were unsuccessful.

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com