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Bristol couple say Comcast technician caused $100K of fire damage to their residence

Nicholas Malfitano Jul. 3, 2017, 9:57am from

PHILADELPHIA – A couple claim they suffered more than $100,000 in fire damage to their marital residence, due to the alleged negligence of a Comcast technician dispatched to install new equipment and repair existing cable connections on the property.

John Petro and Leslie Petro of Bristol filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on June 21 versus Comcast Corporation and Dan James, both of Philadelphia.

 “On or about March 13, 2017, a technician employed by defendant, James, arrived at approximately 11:20 a.m. for the purpose of installing new equipment and cleaning up some of the Comcast cable connections on the property,” the complaint states.

John visited the property for lunch at 12:15 p.m. and returned to work, when he received a call from his wife, Leslie. Leslie said that James’s work had caused “sparks” to come out of the wall, causing John to return to the residence, while observing smoke and noticing an odor of what he believed was burning wire insulation, according to the lawsuit.

John called 9-1-1 at 1 p.m., fire crews arrived on scene by 1:07 p.m. and had extinguished the fire by 2 p.m., after the resulting fire had caused severe damage to the Petros’ residence.

“Thereafter, plaintiff John Petro spoke with several representatives from defendant. Each representative made statements along the lines of they were ‘sorry,’ ‘don’t worry’ and ‘we’ll take care of everything.’ Upon information and belief, the representatives plaintiff John Petro spoke with were [Technical Operations Supervisor] Robert W. Gorgas Jr. and [Technical Operations Manager] Douglas S. Cervi Sr. On the date of the fire caused by James, Kevin T. Flanagan, an Assistant Fire Marshal for the Bucks County Fire Marshal Department, told plaintiff it was ‘cut and dry’ that the fire was the fault of Comcast. The fire caused by defendants caused damage to the property in excess of $100,000.00,” the complaint continues.

For counts of respondeat superior liability, negligence, gross negligence and negligent hiring, retention and/or supervision, the plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, delay damages, punitive damages and other such relief in this matter.

The plaintiffs are represented by W. Charles Sipio of Kolman Ely, in Penndel.

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Fires caused by carelessness pose a grave risk of death.  Between one and two million Americans need medical attention for burn injuries every year. Many hazards can cause fatal burn injuries.  In an industrial setting, hot or molten liquids are often the most frequent culprit.  In the home setting, frayed or defective electrical wiring, defective electrical appliances water heaters, furnaces or natural gas leaks may cause fires or explosions that take the live of home occupants.

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