Insurer Says Policy Doesn’t Cover Mississippi Building Collapse

December 4, 2017

Hudson Specialty Insurance has sued in federal court in Natchez, Miss., to nullify a policy covering a building that collapsed July 23 in the City of McComb, saying coverage was voided after the building owner took money from a previous claim but didn’t complete needed repairs.

The city sued earlier, seeking $370,000 spent on cleaning up after the building collapsed.

Both the city and Hudson say Terrance Alexander, who bought the building in 2014 and operated Jubilee Performing Arts Center there, had been warned that roof drains were clogged and the roof was about to fall in. Alexander, who denies those claims, transferred ownership to Talex LLC in 2016. That’s who Hudson was insuring.

The collapse of the largest building in downtown McComb sent bricks toppling onto city streets, and the city cordoned off the surrounding area as contractors tore down the top two floors of the building, which officials feared could fall at any time.

Downtown streets and some businesses in the area were closed for nearly three weeks.

As part of its lawsuit, Hudson said it shouldn’t have to pay for lost income or damages of more than a dozen businesses and individuals.