Fire Story Of The Week

Fire Story Of The Week

The following is purported to be a true story but I leave it to you to guess. Either way it’s a cracking yarn about a snake biting a snake biting a snake back!!

The setting is Charlotte, North Carolina, US of A

A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them, which included among other things, insurance against fire.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost “in a series of small fires.”

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued…and WON! Snake bites Snake!!

Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated, nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company within which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be “unacceptable fire”, and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars lost in the “fires”.

And the coup de grace…..snake bites snake back.

After the lawyer cashed the cheque, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!! With his insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

Frankly even for litigation centric America I think this is a tall tale. But was it true? Alas not. Total bull I’m afraid but the ring of truth is the predisposition of insurers to use small print to deny liability and of lawyers to use similar sized print to prove liability.

Tony

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