Pepperbelly’s owner sues insurers over fire coverage

By From page A6 | February 05, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A lawsuit by Pepperbelly’s against its insurers in connection with the Jan. 25, 2013, fire is an administrative filing and doesn’t reflect a disagreement between comedy club owner Dave Wayne Mayhew and his insurers, says the attorney for Pepperbelly’s.

Tim Jones on Tuesday said his Jan. 24 filing in Solano County Superior Court reflects the one-year statute of limitations for such civil cases involving real estate and insurance.

Jones said he believes the matter will be dismissed before the May 8 management conference scheduled in Vallejo before Judge Michael Mattice.

“You file a complaint out of an abundance of caution,” Jones said.

The attorney said he understands the cause of the fire to be old electrical wires that shorted out.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 7 comments

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  • boomFebruary 04, 2014 - 12:26 am

    Interesting you go to up your insurance, then 6 days later the building burns down.

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  • Blanca BotwinFebruary 04, 2014 - 4:59 am

    @Boom-That's a VERY good point. Also, what about "Mayhew said in the suit that he had an oral contract for the insurer to research an adequate policy." What? An "oral contract" with your insurance company? Who does that? ALL my contracts with my insurance are in writing, AND "research an adequate policy." RESEARCH does not mean you have something, and maybe the insurance co found that $1mil was "ADEQUATE." Guess this means Pebberbelly's is no more,forever.

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 04, 2014 - 6:16 am

    The date isn't really that suspicious. My guess is that Mayhew was shopping for a new policy at renewal. The date most likely corresponds to the date Mayhew bought the building. I doubt Mayhew ever requested a specific amount of coverage. It doesn't work that way. Usually it's the agents job to calculate the replacement cost or the carrier (in this case Crusader) will use software to come up with the correct amount of coverage. I believe the DR used the wrong term in saying the alleged oral contract is with the "insurer." The oral contract would be with the agent/broker who does in fact have an obligation to propose adequate coverage. Only covering a building to 50 percent is odd. Either Mayhew gave the agent erroneous info regarding the size and construction features of the building or the agent miscalculated the replacement cost by either from an honest mistake or purposely trying to get a more competitive premium. There isn't enough info in the article to really determine where the fault lies.

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  • The MisterFebruary 04, 2014 - 6:52 am

    Just like Larry Silverstein upping his insurance on the World Trade Centers... double if hit by terrorists... and, waddayaknow, "terrorists" fly into 2 of his buildings, knocking 3 of them down! I'll sure bet old Larry Silverstein was surprised at that!

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  • WherethereissmokeFebruary 04, 2014 - 7:34 am

    Yes the timing of the 'orally' increased insurance is definitely interesting.... And if I am understanding this correctly he already has 1 million in his pocket and he has done absolutely nothing to the building... not even anything to protect it from the elements. This will eventually be torn down at taxpayers expense...

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  • TylerFebruary 04, 2014 - 6:16 am

    I think the oral contract was Mayhew asking these insurance brokers to find an adequate policy. His mistake was trusting the results. I had an awful experience with this insurance broker after it changed hands a few years ago. My homeowners policy lapsed because they didn't respond to the escrow manager's request for an invoice, no response to either them or me. I moved the policy to a different broker.

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 04, 2014 - 6:18 am

    Tyler, you are exactly right. This is most like going to be an errors and omissions case.

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