State Farm Says House Fire Was Due to Kat Von D’s Neglect

Tattoo artist Katherine von Drachenberg, aka Kat Von D, poses before a news conference (AP Photo/Gero Breloer) Tattoo artist Katherine von Drachenberg, aka Kat Von D, poses before a news conference (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

NU Online News Service, May 30, 2:13 p.m. EDT

Kat Von D’s next tattoo is not likely to be of State Farm’s new logo.

The famous tattoo artist and former star of “LA Ink” (whose real name is Katherine Von Drachenberg) is being sued by State Farm.

The insurer is looking to recover more than $900,000 it paid after the reality television star’s Los Angeles home burned down in November 2010.

According to court documents filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, State Farm is alleging Von Drachenberg negligently lit multiple candles in the house and left them unattended. The candles started the fire.

“Defendants had a legal and contractual duty to not engage in any activity which would cause damage or peril to the premises or its contents,” says State Farm, adding that Von Drachenberg “failed to use reasonable and ordinary care in the use of burning candles within the premises.”

Von Drachenberg leased the house on Wonderland Avenue from owner Debra Dresbach, according to the lawsuit. State Farm says the tattooist violated a “duty to use due care” provision in the lease and also breached the contract when she used it for more than a personal residence.

The insurer says Von Drachenberg used the home for commercial purposes, but it does not elaborate in court papers.

State Farm hopes to get back about $909,200 it paid for the house and its contents. The insurer says its policy with Dresbach also allows the insurer to seek attorneys’ fees and costs related to the case. 

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