The law on insurance and arson – smarts are not automatic

According to the author (unnamed), this is supposedly a TRUE news story (courtesy of  He had his doubts, but, well,  you can decide….

A lawyer in Charlotte, NC purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire among other things. 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 with 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!

In 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 in 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. [Doesn’t this sound like the lack of definition of “demonstrated capability” in the Automated Elections Law of the Philippines?]

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000.00 to the lawyer for his loss of the rare cigars lost in the “fires.”

But… 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 used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000.00 fine.

Comment:  Beware the res judicata rule.  It can haunt you.


2 thoughts on “The law on insurance and arson – smarts are not automatic

  1. This is cute…I just hope the lawyer is not the kind of lawyer that PGMA desires to be in the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) Shortlist for the current vacancies in the Supreme Court (SC)…and hopefully neither is this the kind of lawyer that she desired to be the new Chairman of the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC) replacing a retired Justice of the Court of Appeals (CA)…otherwise…que sera sera


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