Insurance Firm Sues Boy, Father

Source: St. Petersburg Times
Date: October 16, 1987

A 10-year-old boy who authorities say started a fire last year at the Hacienda Gardens apartments is being sued by the insurance company that paid $30,000 in damages.

Reliance Insurance Co. of Pennsylvania filed suit Wednesday against the boy and his father in Pinellas Circuit Court. The boy was negligent for playing with a cigarette lighter, the suit said, and the father was negligent for not properly supervising his son.

The boy was one of seven people living in a two-bedroom apartment owned by the Church of Scientology, but he was alone in the apartment when the fire broke out Oct. 21, 1986.

The insurance company wants the boy and the father to reimburse the $30,000 it paid to cover the damages. The Scientologists paid the remaining $10,000 in damage to that apartment and three others, the suit said.

The names of the boy and his father are being withheld to protect the boy's identity.