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July 31, 2003

Only in America!

[Ed: This item was included in a newsletter from a Real Estate Agent which was sent to my mother. Hi Mum!]

This is the best lawyer story of the year, decade and probably the century. A Charlotte, NC lawyer having purchased a box of very rare, very expensive cigars, insured them against fire among other things. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of cigars and without 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 series of small fires". The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason; that the lawyer had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The lawyer sued......and won! In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. He stated nevertheless that the lawyer held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure against fire, without defining what is considered to be, "unacceptable fire," and was obligated to pay the claim.
Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid the man $15,000.00 for the rare cigars he had lost in the "fires".


After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000.00 fine.

By the way, this is of course an urban legend.

Posted by Peskie at July 31, 2003 12:00 PM