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Philadelphia Coverage Lawyer’s Dream:  Coverage Case About Soft Pretzels


As a Philadelphia native, my love for soft pretzels knows no bounds.  And the finest that the city has to offer, hands down, come from Philadelphia Pretzel Factory.  And there is one located just a 9-iron away from the While and Williams office.  In fact, the Coverage Opinions website has long included a picture, courtesy of Philadelphia Pretzel Factory, that demonstrates just how knotty some coverage issues can be.

So imagine my surprise, and sheer glee, when I saw a coverage decision involving Philadelphia Pretzel Factory!

At issue in Soft Pretzel Franchise Systems v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., 22-1277 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 4, 2022) was coverage for the franchisor of Philadelphia Pretzel Factory as an additional insured under a policy issued to a Philadelphia Pretzel Factory franchisee. An employee of the franchisee was injured by an allegedly defective pretzel rolling machine. 

The court concluded that the franchisor was not entitled to coverage, as AI status was limited to the franchisor’s role as grantor of the franchise.  And that’s not what was alleged in the complaint:

“The claims in the underlying lawsuit against Pretzel Franchise are for strict liability, breach of warranty, and negligence related to injuries suffered by Jackiw and caused by an allegedly defective and unreasonably dangerous pretzel rolling machine. The amended complaint avers that Pretzel Franchise had responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of safety procedures at Philly Pretzel Factory facilities. Included are other allegations that it designed and placed in commerce the defective machine and failed to inspect, repair, and maintain it. The Twin City policy specifically limits coverage for Pretzel Franchise to its role as grantor of the franchise to Pretzel Factory. Jackiw’s pleading does not predicate liability against Pretzel Franchise as a franchisor.”

So Philadelphia Pretzel Factory will not be getting any dough.




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