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Legal battle ends over insurance in Pacific Seafood fire

Processor sought additional payment
By Edward Stratton

The Daily Astorian

Published on August 13, 2017 5:16PM

Pacific Seafood claimed $32.4 million in damages from a fire that destroyed its plant in Warrenton in 2013.

The Daily Astorian/File Photo

Pacific Seafood claimed $32.4 million in damages from a fire that destroyed its plant in Warrenton in 2013.

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Pacific Seafood is preparing to end an 18-month legal battle with an insurance carrier over a fire that destroyed the company’s Warrenton seafood plant in 2013.

Lawyers for Dulcich Inc., doing business as Pacific Seafood, and Alterra Excess & Surplus Insurance Co. signed a stipulation for dismissal with prejudice, which would bar Pacific Seafood from bringing the same claim again. The case had been scheduled to go to trial in U.S. District Court in October.

“Plaintiff and defendant, by and through their counsel of record, hereby stipulate that this action and all claims herein be dismissed with prejudice and without attorney fees or costs to any party,” the stipulation stated.

Details were not available because of a protective order keeping many documents in the case confidential. Attorneys for Dulcich Inc. declined to comment, while attorneys for Alterra were not immediately available for comment.

A fire destroyed Pacific Seafood’s Warrenton plant in 2013. Federal investigators found that a roofing contractor using a propane torch to adhere materials caused the space between two roof layers to catch fire.

The seafood processor claimed $32.4 million in damage and received the full $10 million from its primary insurer, Westport Insurance Corp. But the company claimed Alterra did not honor a contract to provide up to $15 million in excess of Westport’s policy. Pacific Seafood sued Alterra for breach of contract.

Alterra had merged with Evanston Insurance Co., which denied Dulcich’s allegations. The insurer claims, among other things, that Dulcich failed to mitigate or avoid the alleged damages and that the company’s losses did not exceed the limit of the Westport policy.

Pacific Seafood has been subleasing a hangar at the Port of Astoria’s North Tongue Point property while it rebuilds its plant in Warrenton at an estimated cost of between $23 million and $25 million. The company hopes to open the plant in December for the Dungeness crab season.


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