NJ Printer Seeks $37M for Superstorm Damages

CARLSTADT, NJ—A New Jersey printer has gone to court in its efforts to recover what it feels is just compensation for its insurance claim in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, according to The Record.

Pictorial Offset is seeking $37 million for storm-related damage to equipment it claims continues to hamstring its operation, the newspaper said. The printer contends the electronics and electrical systems of several pieces of equipment no longer work properly due to damage from electrical surges during the storm.

The defendant, Zurich American Insurance, refuses to pay damages for the machines, claiming it was caused by the resulting flood as opposed to electrical overstressing, the newspaper reported. The storm left 14 inches of water at Pictorial Offset.

According to the lawsuit, the insurance policy limits flood damage payments to $1 million, but the limits for all types of damage—including electrical overstressing—is $80 million.

The printer seeks $400,000 for debris removal, $3.1 million for building damage, $23.9 million for damage to business personal property and $9.4 million for interruption to the business. Zurich has paid $1 million for flood damage and $250,000 for debris removal, the suit says.

Two months following the payout, Pictorial investigated why there were “significant and elevated levels of ongoing electrical problems,” the newspaper reported, citing the filing. On Oct. 29, the day Sandy struck New Jersey, the printer noted a series of “high magnitude electrical service fluctuations” prior to the equipment shutting down.

In March of 2013, Pictorial submitted to Zurich a list of machines that required replacing, a group that carried a price tag of $32.8 million. The insurer sent several claims adjustors and consultants to evaluate the damage but, according to the suit, refuses to pay out on the electrical overstress claim.

The lawsuit accuses Zurich of breach of contract and breach of good faith and fair dealing.

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