Careful discovery leads to recovery from careless smoker

This case involved a fire loss that originated on the back deck of a Kentucky two-story garden apartment building during a party being held by one of the tenants.

Witnesses deposed in the case indicated that the fire originated on the railing of the wooden deck. The tenant’s carrier took the position that the fire may have been caused by careless smoking, but that no one could prove the identity of the careless smoker. Through careful discovery, Stutman Law established that the tenant had provided several guests with a plastic water bottle for use as an ashtray, and that the fire originated on the railing at the location where the water bottle had been sitting. Based on this theory, Stutman Law recovered $265,000 from the tenant.

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