Update on Crazy Loophole

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I just blogged about this crazy loophole that Great American Insurance Company is trying to use to get out of paying for a number of wrongful deaths.
The Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Falkenberg wrote an opinion piece about this loophole:

Earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle’s Mary Flood reported that the Cincinnati-based insurer asked a federal court judge to help it avoid a potential $25 million liability in a Houston office fire last year that killed three people. Vocational nurse Misty Ann Weaver lit the fire to hide the fact that she hadn’t met a paperwork deadline.

Now Great American officials are trying to hide from responsibility in the deaths, which isn’t as shocking as the legal argument they’re trying to employ.

Families of the fire victims shouldn’t be compensated for their losses since the deaths were caused by smoke inhalation instead of actual flames, the company argued in a federal court brief.

I can see why the insurance company is trying to avoid paying based on this loophole.  They’ll save a ton of money.  Lisa did a little investigation:

And “fire, lightning and debris removal” were the No. 1 causes for homeowners’ insured losses nationwide at nearly 35 percent in 2006, the most recent year for which statistics were available from the New York-based Insurance Information Institute.

For the sake of the family of the victims I hope Great American Insurance doesn’t win.  Talk about adding insult to injury.
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Fond du lac, West Bend, Kenosha and Wauwatosa.
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