Categoryrecoveries

Stutman Law Wins Jury Verdict for Montgomery County Homeowners in Construction Defect Suit

In March 2018, Stutman Law successfully litigated a construction defect case against The David Cutler Group, the self-proclaimed largest privately owned residential builder in the Delaware Valley. After a three-day trial, a Montgomery County jury deliberated for approximately one hour and returned a verdict for Stutman Law’s clients, awarding them full damages in the amount […]

Stutman Law Beats City’s Governmental Immunity Defense in North Carolina

Stutman Law recently settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of its client against the City of Gastonia, North Carolina for $760,000.00.  Stutman Law’s client insured a historic building that was undergoing renovations when a fire service line froze and burst.  A few days after the initial break, warmer temperatures caused the frozen pipe to thaw, which […]

Stutman Law Defeats Waiver of Subrogation Summary Judgment Motion Resulting in $925,000 Recovery

Stutman Law recovered $925,000.00 from contractors responsible for the failure of a flange on a large ductile iron water supply line in a hotel in New Hampshire. Stutman Law’s investigation, including the use of metallurgical analysis and exemplar testing, established that the flange separated from the ductile iron supply line because the installers failed to […]

Stutman Law Settles Suppression System Case for $2,750,000 on Eve of Trial

A fire destroyed a commercial building that housed multiple paint spray booths which were utilized to apply paint spray and finishes to commercial truck bodies and chassis. The precise cause of the fire was never determined but investigators were able to conclude that the fire had originated within ventilation ductwork situated above a paint spray […]

Fallen Tree Results in $800,000 Judgment and $329,000 Award of Attorney Fees and Costs Against City of Pasadena (NASP Subrogator Winter 2016 Issue)

In a ruling that could have potential significance for all California municipalities, after a 4-day bench trial, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin found the city of Pasadena liable in inverse condemnation for the catastrophic damage caused to a residence when a 110-foot tall Canary Island Pine tree fell through it during a severe […]

Stutman Law Awarded $101,000 in Arbitration Forums against Major International Water Treatment Products Company

Stutman Law prevails in Arbitration Forums against a major international water treatment products company. This case involves the failure of a thirteen year old water softener that caused substantial damage to the insured’s residence. The manufacturer defended this suit arguing that it was protected by the warranties and disclaimers in the purchase invoice and that […]

Stutman Law Obtains $1.25 Million Settlement on Eve of Trial

A brand new 7,800 square foot custom built residential property in the suburbs of Atlanta was destroyed by fire and collapsed into the basement. When Stutman Law attorneys received the assignment from its insurance company client, the fire investigator retained by the insurance company informed Stutman Law attorneys the property was a total a loss […]

Stutman Law Prevails in Arbitration Over Major Water Filter Manufacturer

A water filter that was installed under the insured’s kitchen sink cracked and caused significant water damage to the insured’s property.  Stutman Law was able to establish through expert testimony that the filter failed due to a defect during the manufacturing process.  It was the manufacturer’s position that the product failed due to over-tightening of […]

Stutman Law Obtains $710,000 Verdict Against Broan-Nutone

A federal court jury in Syracuse, NY determined that a bathroom exhaust fan manufactured by Broan-Nutone was defective and a caused a fire at a daycare center in Victor, New York.   Thomas Paolini and Thomas Underwood from Stutman Law’s New Jersey office tried the case. On September 17, 2009, a fire destroyed the Jack & […]

Trailer Manufacturer Pays for Defect Even Though Insured’s Driver was Cited for Speeding

Stutman Law recovered in excess of 70% of its client’s damages from a specialized trailer manufacturer following a single vehicle accident in which the insured’s driver was cited by the investigating state trooper for excessive speed. Plaintiff’s insured was a trucking company which specialized in hauling oversized loads. At the time of the accident, plaintiff’s […]

Senior Center Short Circuited by Failure to Remove Drain Plugs

An electrical contractor designed and installed an exterior bus duct during construction of insured’s 250,000 square foot Senior Living facility in Livermore, CA in 2004. The bus duct carried up to 480 volts through the 3–phase 3,000 amp bus duct supplying power to the entire facility. However the contractor neglected to remove drain plugs in […]

Stutman Law Recovers for Loss of Movie Star’s Memorabilia

The insured, an actor/director and husband of actress Lynn Redgrave for 30 years, stored her memorabilia in two rented spaces in a Los Angeles commercial building while he prepared to write a book about their life together. A leak occurred in a fire sprinkler system in the adjacent space causing a minor flood. The city […]

Manufacturer of Water Dispenser Unit Pays Stutman Law

An Asian company with offices in the US, manufactured, leased, installed and serviced a counter top water dispenser unit in an LA high rise condominium in 2011. The unit was thereafter serviced by a company technician every quarter. The unit connected to the water supply through an under-sink plastic T-valve. The plastic water line from […]

Water Damage From Frozen Sprinkler Pipe in Attic Floods Hotel

A hotel guest reported water flowing from the ceiling in the third floor east wing of the property. The hotel investigated the incident and discovered burst pipes for a dry sprinkler system located in the attic of the property. An investigation of the sprinkler and alarm systems by Stutman Law’s expert team revealed the alarm […]

Stutman Law’s Quick Response Yields Favorable, Six Figure Pre-Litigation Settlement

The New Loss Department’s rapid response was critical in obtaining key evidence in a residential, exposure fire.  Stutman Law’s cause and origin expert was out to the loss site within hours of the referral, and as a result, was able to investigate the neighboring property where the fire originated.  It was during this investigation that […]

Update – Inverse Condemnation Settlement Occurs After Court of Appeals Denies City’s Petition

The California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two has issued a summary denial of a Petition for Writ of Mandate filed by the City of Hemet in a $750K inverse condemnation case following a ruling in Stutman Law’s favor on a motion for summary adjudication. At issue was whether Stutman Law’s novel theory that […]

Stutman Law Obtains Summary Judgment Against Power Utility in Case of First Impression (NASP Subrogator® Spring/Summer 2014 Issue)

In an issue of first impression for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Stutman Law obtained summary judgment in a subrogation action against a power utility alleging that the utility provided defective power to its customer causing equipment losses and a fire resulting in over $800,000 in losses. Click here to read the full article from […]

Local Fire Company Revises Their Fire Report Based on Stutman Law’s Investigative Findings

A fire in rural West Virginia destroyed a former Bed & Breakfast Inn burning the property down to its concrete slab with only a chimney left standing.  The Bed & Breakfast had been converted to an extended single family residence and leased to a large family of twelve.  Several volunteer fire fighting companies responded to […]

Stutman Law Attorney gets Defendant to Admit to Negligence in Undetermined Fire

Stutman Law recovered $300,000.00 from an HVAC contractor for its clients in an undetermined fire which occurred on Kelleys Island, Oh. The fire was exacerbated by an attic full of cellulose insulation and a delayed response by the all volunteer fire department. In fact, the damage caused by the fire was so significant that a […]

Stutman Law Attorney Uses Manufacturer’s Guidelines to “Burn” Installer of Wood Stove

Five years following the construction of an addition to a beautiful lake front home in Northern Michigan, a fire originated in an unoccupied attic of the addition and destroyed the home.  The unoccupied attic consisted of wooden framing members, piping for a wood stove, cellulose insulation and electrical wiring.  Although very little remained of the […]

Stutman Law Obtains $2,202,541.55 Subrogation Jury Verdict Against Alarm Company in Georgia

After six days of trial, a jury found a defendant alarm company grossly negligent and found damages on behalf of Stutman Law’s clients in the amount of $2,202,541.55. The verdict is believed to be the largest subrogation verdict against an alarm company ever obtained in Georgia. Thomas Paolini and Michael Wallace from Stutman Law’s New […]

Insurers share bulk of $36 million recovery

As part of a $36 million out-of-court settlement, more than a dozen insurance carriers recovered a significant amount of the payments they made to their insureds as a result of the fire at the Riverwalk Millennium Apartment Complex in suburban Philadelphia. Stutman Law represented seven major insurance companies and also served as Court-appointed Liaison Counsel for all other insurance companies that insured tenants and businesses at Riverwalk.

Stutman Law recovers millions in metal halide fire litigation

A large commercial warehouse was destroyed by one of the largest fires in the city’s history. After several years of litigation and discovery, Stutman Law established that the fire was caused by a defective metal halide lamp that endured what is known in the lighting industry as a “non-passive end of life failure.” Through discovery, […]

Arson by insured’s employee results in multimillion dollar settlement against sprinkler manufacturer and “Bulk Box” industry

A disgruntled employee set two fires inside a plastic injection molding facility. The fires quickly overwhelmed the water based sprinkler system and virtually destroyed the entire facility. The fire was investigated by local, state and federal agencies who all concluded that the cause of the fire was arson. The fire resulted in nearly $60 million […]

Stutman Law Achieves $4 million recovery against design professionals even though statute of repose technically barred the claim

A big box supermarket and shopping center was designed with an elaborate wooden façade and overhang to make it blend in architecturally with the historic surrounding area. Unfortunately, the large wooden façade and overhang was not protected with sprinkler heads as required by the code. A fire of unknown cause started in the mulch underneath […]

Spontaneous Combustion Fires Result in Over $7,000,000 in Recoveries

Spontaneous combustion fires seem illogical because they ignite without any apparent heat source, spark or flame. Moreover, they generally consume all physical evidence of fire causation and are therefore difficult to prove. Nonetheless, these fires can often be the source of large subrogation recoveries if investigated and litigated properly. In just the past three years, […]

Damage dispute resolves in Stutman Law’s client’s favor for $3,000,000

A large quantity of garnet sand, which is used in sand blasting and in high pressure water jet cutting, was stored in a warehouse along with fiberglass roofing and siding. The tenant caused a fire by striking an electrical box with a front-end loader, but alleged that the value of the garnet sand paid for […]

$5.5 million settlement in commercial building fire

Stutman Law brokered a settlement of $5.5 million, of which its clients received the majority of the proceeds. The settlement arose out of a fire caused by the spontaneous combustion of sawdust and polyurethane finish in a commercial building under renovation. Prior to the settlement, Stutman Law headed the litigation against four defendants, including the […]

2007 San Diego Wildfires

Stutman Law was instrumental in assisting with the recovery of millions of dollars for subrogated insurance carriers arising out of the 2007 San Diego, California wildfires. There were at least 10 identified wildfires in San Diego, three of which involved electrical power line failures that were owned and operated by the local utility company. These […]

Defendants pay only Stutman Law’s client $2 million in a building collapse lawsuit; continue to litigate with remaining Plaintiffs

Stutman Law resolved a building collapse claim for $2,000,000.00 after extensive litigation. The severe building collapse resulted in multiple casualties, including one fatality. Stutman Law’s Building Collapse Unit litigated the case to a successful conclusion for its clients. Upon receiving the claim, Stutman Law immediately commenced an investigation into the cause of the collapse. A […]

Encrusted sprinkler line reduces flow of water to sprinkler heads leading to a flow of millions for Stutman Law’s client

Over the years, the insides of the pipes leading to a Supermarket sprinkler system gradually became encrusted with minerals, reducing the water supply to the sprinkler system. When thieves set a fire to serve as a distraction for their crime of stealing goods from the Supermarket, the system, now fed by an inadequate water supply, […]

Utility company forced to pay millions for the sins of an uninsured contractor


A gas utility company buried a plastic gas main in close proximity to a number of underground electrical cables. An uninsured excavating contractor who did not call to have the utilities marked caused damage to one of the electrical cables while digging a trench for a new water line. The damage to the cable resulted […]

Stutman Law convinces court that Waiver of Subrogation doesn’t apply and obtains $1.5 million recovery


A roofer using a torch decided that gasoline makes a good solvent to clean rubber roofing materials before sealing it with heat. The results of this decision were catastrophic. The roofer’s insurer defended the case on the basis of a Waiver of Subrogation in a construction contract entered into between the roofer and the building […]

Welder unsuccessful in alleging age of the product in defending a defective weld; pays Stutman Law $1.5 million


A contractor was hired to make a weld repair to a fatigue crack contained within the crown of a very large hydraulic press which was being used to manufacture aluminum wheels for heavy trucks. The contractor did not understand the need to slowly preheat the entire crown before welding, and the need to slowly cool […]

Victim’s family reimbursed for her “conscious pain and suffering”

Careful investigation and expert testimony led to a substantial seven-figure settlement in a case of the wrongful death of a young Pennsylvania woman. A commercial vehicle driving too fast on a two-lane highway plowed into the back of a car driven by the young woman. The impact pushed her car into the opposing lane of […]

Stutman Law beats “implied” Waiver of Subrogation argument and recovers $1,350,000 for carrier


A fire destroyed a large portion of a historic church in Ashland, Ohio. A contractor hired by the church was replacing copper gutters at the time of the fire. The contractor claimed that one end of the section of copper gutter came into contact with the insulated power line serving the church, and that the […]

Metal halide light bulb “cooks” nuts


A Georgia company was in the business of packaging and selling nuts. They had a refrigerated warehouse on site at their plant and one night, the fire alarm activated. The fire department found a small fire in the warehouse directly under a light fixture. The sprinkler system had activated and contained the fire to a […]

Uncovering code violations leads to successful recovery

A fire at a multi-story apartment building in Maryland was caused by a plumber soldering a domestic water line in the basement of the building. Although the plumber argued that the damages were exacerbated by the lack of proper fire stops and fire walls in the old apartment building, Stutman Law recovered $1,250,000 from the […]

Wife recovers $1.25 million from husband who tried to “hide the money”

Stutman Law successfully negotiated a settlement of $1,250,000 for its client, the ex-wife of the CEO of a major corporation arising from a long standing dispute between the former spouses.  Approximately three years after the divorce, the defendant represented to his ex-wife that the company was not doing well and offered to buy her stock […]

Manufacturer of heat gun pays Stutman Law even though Insured’s employee left gun in “on” position before taking a break

Heat guns are industrial strength dryers that blow 1,000 degree air. An employee at a food distributorship was assigned to use a heat gun to shrink wrap some goods to a pallet. When she plugged in the heat gun, it would not operate, despite her moving the slide switch from the off position to the […]

Stutman Law obtains jury verdict for $1,250,000 on case rejected by two prior subrogation law firms

The insured leased part of a very large warehouse to a tire recycling company. The tire recycling company then stored tires on the loading dock and within the building. Vandals set fire to trash on the loading dock, which spread to the tires. Although the Fire Department responded promptly, they were unable to control the […]

Defective plastic plumbing part yields million dollar recovery

Stutman Law recovered over $1 million after establishing that a water treatment product had been improperly manufactured with incompatible chemical components.   This litigation was pursued by Stutman Law after a plastic elbow associated with a water treatment product catastrophically failed and flooded a multi-story condominium complex in the Philadelphia area.  Though the water treatment product […]

Stutman Law takes lead on multi-party litigation, resulting in more than $1 million for its client

Stutman Law settled a multi-party litigation where it obtained a significant seven figure recovery. The case involved a fire caused by a cooking appliance in a commercial kitchen. Investigators determined that the fire spread into the exhaust system/ductwork and then to the rest of the building, eventually spreading to the insured’s adjoining building. Lawyers at […]

Manufacturer of freezer door pays $1 million even though insured hit door with forklift

The insured, who owned a large freezer warehouse, bought electrically heated sliding freezer doors for the truck bays at their warehouse. The doors, which contained a nichrome heating wire in the perimeter of the door, were designed not to freeze when closed. Discovery revealed that the company that made the heated freezer doors had no […]

Stutman Law obtains videotape that contradicts the defendant’s story resulting in $1 million recovery

A fire started in a large freezer box inside of a warehouse. The defendant was on the roof of the freezer box connecting copper refrigerant piping to a piece of refrigeration equipment in the freezer box shortly before the fire. Investigators immediately suspected that the defendant’s employees were soldering the pipes that passed through the […]

More than $1 million recovered for devastating injuries caused by catastrophic crane collapse



Without warning, the hydraulic boom of a truck mounted boom crane manufactured by of one of the industry’s best known crane manufacturer’s failed to maintain its hydraulic pressure and collapsed, resulting in critical injuries to two occupants working within a basket suspended 70’ above the ground. The workers were in the process of welding sheet […]

Stutman Law Recovers $300,000 On “Undetermined Fire” By Ruling Out All Causes Except Defendant’s Negligence

Stutman Law recovered $300,000.00 from an HVAC contractor for its clients in an undetermined fire which occurred on Kelleys Island, Ohio.The fire was exacerbated by an attic full of cellulose insulation and a delayed response by the all volunteer fire department. In fact, the damage caused by the fire was so significant that a number […]

Arc welding by contractor leads to fire in new home construction



Stutman Law recovered in excess of $1,000,000 from a subcontractor and general contractor for damages caused by a fire to a multi-million dollar home that was under construction in Colorado. The fire started as a result of arc welding performed by the subcontractor who had a limited insurance policy. The general contractor blamed the subcontractor […]

Failure to notify authorities leads $1 million recovery


The Defendant sub-leased space in Stutman Law’s client’s insured’s building, where both were in the printing business. The Defendant wired his printing equipment to the building’s electrical boxes without obtaining permits. The Defendant then experienced a malfunction at one of the electrical boxes which resulted in a burning smell and a very small fire. Six […]

Summary Judgment filed by Stutman Law leads to a $1.1 million recovery in a New York building collapse case


In 2007, a one story commercial building collapsed into an active construction site. The collapse occurred as contractors were performing excavation and underpinning work on a construction site that was adjacent to the collapsed building. The New York City Building Department subsequently determined that the collapsed building was unsafe and ordered that it be razed. […]

Stutman Law proves “pyrolosis” in a case that leads to a $1 million settlement


A fire originated within the wooden wall structure of a chain restaurant, immediately behind a wall mounted piece of cooking equipment. Discovery revealed other locations within the chain had suffered similar fires in wooden walls immediately behind the same make and model of cooking equipment. Stutman Law’s expert tested whether the equipment could cause a […]

Multiple Parties Pay Up In Cooking Fire

Stutman Law recently settled a multi-party litigation where it obtained a significant seven-figure recovery. The case involved a fire caused by a cooking appliance in a commercial kitchen. Investigators determined that the fire spread into the exhaust system/ductwork and then to the rest of the building, eventually spreading to the insured’s adjoining building. Lawyers at […]

Snatching a victory ($950,000 worth) from the jaws of defeat

Stutman Law recently reached a settlement of $950,000 in a case that literally was almost lost on the day of the fire. On a Saturday afternoon in June, firm founder Robert A. Stutman received a call from the client’s adjuster about a new loss that occurred that same day. The initial report was bleak because […]

Hazardous site investigation leads to substantial subrogation recovery


A massive poultry caging system housing over 100,000 laying hens in Pennsylvania provided state-of-the-art equipment for managing a poultry house. But a catastrophic collapse led to a difficult and complicated investigation. Throughout the investigation, the team of investigators, insurance officials and Stutman Law attorneys worked to establish the cause of the collapse, while faced with […]

Stutman Law increases client’s pro rata settlement share

Stutman Law recently recovered $750,000 in a subrogation litigation arising out of a condominium building fire in Washington State. The fire occurred during construction in a bathroom in one of the condominium units. The defendant denied liability for the claim, and Stutman Law pursued the matter in litigation. After serving requests for admissions early in […]

Record recovery on fire loss caused by mid-line failure of armored electrical cable


Stutman Law obtained the largest recovery known for the mid-line failure of an armored electrical cable alleged to have caused a fire. A Franklin, Indiana foundry and laboratory facility utilized to design and cast finished machine parts was destroyed by a fire. Following several days of investigation at the loss scene and subsequent laboratory examinations, […]

Negligent tenants responsible for water damage from frozen pipes


Significant damage caused by frozen pipes in a vacation home in Maryland occurred while in use by renters. Stutman Law represented the insurance carrier and insured in an action against the renters for failing to maintain adequate heat and recovered $750,000 in total. The insurer was able to make a subrogation recovery even though Maryland […]

“CSI” Testing Identifies Responsible Party and Results in $700,000 Recovery


Water caused substantial damage to a Raymour & Flanigan furniture store when a cap that had been affixed to an abandoned water pipe separated from the pipe and caused large quantities of water to enter the store. Stutman Law’s experts examined the failed cap and associated pipe fitting and determined that the cap had failed […]

$700,000 Jury verdict against contractor for fire caused by careless smoking


A contractor who was smoking on the job was the likely cause of a Pennsylvania fire at an outlet store in Marshalls Creek. The 20-year-old building was in the process of being renovated into a day care center. The building’s electricity was off at the time of the fire. Investigators determined that a discarded, smoldering […]

Stutman Law obtains jury verdict against negligent contractor

The defendant was hired to build an addition to a wood frame building for a company making kitchen cabinets. The defendant’s employees chose to cut a hole in the sheet metal wall where the addition would attach using a large gas powered circular saw. A warning label on the saw stated that cutting metal produced […]

Stutman Law Obtained Six Figure jury verdict and award of attorney fees against Michigan Utility Company

Stutman Law obtains a $330,000.00 jury verdict along with an award of attorney fees after a weeklong trial against a Michigan Utility Company.  The case was filed by Stutman Law to recover damages which were caused by a gas explosion that destroyed a residential home in Jackson, Michigan.  On the morning of the explosion, natural […]

Preventing spoliation is messy, but pays off

Usually it’s simple to prevent spoliation: identify potentially interested parties, invite them to inspect the loss site, and preserve evidence. But when the Stutman firm received a refrigerator fire loss in 2007, preventing spoliation got messy. After immediately retaining a cause and origin investigator and putting the refrigerator manufacturer on notice, we scheduled a joint […]

Novel Theory Results in Substantial Recovery for Undetermined Fire

Stutman Law investigated and litigated a case that involved a fire that had originated within trash that was stored outside of a strip mall. The fire ultimately spread from the trash to the roof of the strip mall and destroyed multiple tenancies inside the mall. Unfortunately, the actual ignition source for the fire was never […]

Property manager liable for hiring negligent roofer

An unlicensed roofer hired by the property manager doing unpermitted roofing repair work negligently used a propane torch in the vicinity of an exhaust vent for a lacquer spray booth in a Southern California strip mall. Investigation established that sparks from the torch lit the spray booth filters, causing a fire that destroyed the entire […]

OSHA violations cited in loss of luxury home

A fire in Carmel, Indiana destroyed a luxury home that was under construction. The fire was caused by the electrical wiring associated with a paint spray machine utilized by painting subcontractors. Although the cause of the fire was heavily disputed, Stutman Law recovered $650,000 from the painting subcontractors by establishing that the painting subcontractor committed […]

Electric panel arc flash burns engineering student

Stutman Law obtained a worker’s compensation subrogation recovery in a serious burn case in Reading, PA for $975,000. The incident involved an African immigrant who had earned a green card and was working his way toward an electrical engineering degree when a defectively designed electrical panel, manufactured by the world’s leading panel manufacturer, malfunctioned leading […]

OSHA violations cited in loss of luxury home

A fire in Carmel, Indiana destroyed a luxury home that was under construction. The fire was caused by the electrical wiring associated with a paint spray machine utilized by painting subcontractors. Although the cause of the fire was heavily disputed, Stutman Law recovered $650,000 from the painting subcontractors by establishing that the painting subcontractor committed […]

Property manager liable for hiring negligent roofer

An unlicensed roofer hired by the property manager doing unpermitted roofing repair work negligently used a propane torch in the vicinity of an exhaust vent for a lacquer spray booth in a Southern California strip mall. Investigation established that sparks from the torch lit the spray booth filters, causing a fire that destroyed the entire […]

City pays damages and upgrades for Rodeo Drive sinkhole

The City of Los Angeles recently reached a settlement with Stutman Law’s client for more than $600,000 to cover damages to a commercial property on Rodeo Drive caused by a sinkhole. The problem began when leakage from a sewer main, owned and operated by the City, caused a large sinkhole directly beneath a commercial property […]

Insured’s careless cooking doesn’t prevent $500,000 recovery for Stutman Law’s client

A restaurant fire in Dover, DE was caused by the insured’s employee through careless cooking. Stutman Law, however, made a $500,000 recovery against the company responsible for installing, inspecting, and maintaining the kitchen fire suppression system which failed to activate at the time of the fire. Stutman Law attorneys argued that there was no contributory […]

City’s “seal of approval” fails to prevent recovery

A fire caused by the negligent installation of a wood burning fireplace destroyed a residential home in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Although city officials inspected and approved the installation of the fireplace, Stutman Law was able to recover $400,000 from the general contractor by establishing that the installation of the fireplace violated the Michigan Residential Code. 

Fire “jumps the tracks” reducing building to rubble

An Indiana multi-story building was reduced to rubble when a fire from a plastics plant jumped a set of railroad tracks. Stutman Law’s expert went to the scene but because of the collapse of the building where the fire originated, the cause of the fire was unclear and might never have been determined. However, our […]

$300,000 policy limit obtained by winning contract interpretation battle on coverage

A fire occurred at the insured’s light industrial multi-unit building that originated in space leased to the tenant and spread to an adjacent vacant unit. The tenant sought dismissal based on language in the lease that stated in the event of a fire, if the tenant was the insuring party, and if the insurance proceeds […]

Co-insured rule doesn’t always bar recovery

A ten-unit apartment building in Massachusetts sustained heavy damages as a result of a fire that involved a tenant’s use of a charcoal grill on the back deck of her apartment. Massachusetts follows the co-insured rule, also known as the “Sutton Rule,” which bars a landlord’s subrogating carrier from pursuing a fire damage claim against […]

Novel theory nets maximum recovery in a case refused by others

Stutman Law recovered $300,000 for the insurer of a Spokane, Washington, apartment complex destroyed by a fire. The fire started in the new building manager’s apartment the day she moved in. When she noticed that the refrigerator wasn’t working, she turned on the circuit breaker. The breaker also controlled the electric range. One of the […]

Expert identifies contractor as source of gas explosion

A gas explosion occurred in a New Jersey nursing home. Stutman Law retained a HVAC expert shortly after the loss and established that the plumbing contractor let out too much gas while trying to re-light pilots in a boiler. A settlement of $287,500 represented 82% of recoverable damages.

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 […]

Hotel guest and visitor share responsibility for fire

This claim involved a fire at an extended stay type hotel in North Carolina. A hotel guest was cooking and left the pan unattended on the stove and hot cooking oil ignited a fire. Although the fire was put out relatively quickly, the sprinkler system activated and caused considerable flood damage. The hotel guest had […]

Testimony is key in partial recovery of “cold case”

Stutman Law recovered 60% RCV in a case that arose out of a fire inside of a mill complex in Connecticut. The fire was deemed undetermined by state officials, the ATF and the insurer’s first fire investigator. This case was pulled from another subrogation firm and sent to Stutman Law almost one year after the […]

Waiver of Subrogation no bar to pursuit of careless smoker

A multi-story retirement residence for senior citizens located in Connecticut sustained significant fire and water damage when a resident’s relative extinguished a cigarette in a potted plant on an exterior balcony. Stutman Law filed suit against several contractors involved in the design and construction of the building. Despite the existence of a waiver of subrogation […]

Improper installation to blame for fire in pellet stove

A fire inside a residential home in New York was caused by a pellet stove that was improperly installed in the home some 20+ years before the fire. The original installer could not be identified but Stutman Law’s attorneys obtained a 65% recovery against the contractor who made repairs to the stove several months before […]

Careful investigation “persuades” defendant to be truthful

Contractors working outside of a Pennsylvania home struck a gas line near the drainage system for the property. The gas traveled through the drainage system and filled the entire property with gas. An explosion occurred destroying everything on the property when the gas came in contact with several ignition sources. The contractor who struck the […]

Waiver doesn’t protect defendant from recovery for water damage

An insured on the second floor of a 20-story building in New York City suffered damages from a flood emanating from a floor above. In particular, a break in a ‘T’ connection in the sprinkler system on the vacant third floor led to the flood and damaged the floors below. The ensuing water went undetected […]

“Act of God” no defense for flood loss

A cargo container, awaiting delivery from Massachusetts to the insured, was placed on the ground inside a rail yard. Due to severe flooding, the cargo container and contents were destroyed. Stutman Law attorneys battled the “act of God” defense through aggressive investigation and discovery. Faced with the fact that this was one of the most […]

Spontaneous combustion guts South Carolina new home

A fire occurred in a Greenville, S.C. new home that was under construction and nearly complete. Stutman Law’s insured was acting as the builder and the homeowner was acting as the general contractor on the project. The fire caused several hundred thousand dollars in insured losses as well as a substantial uninsured loss to the […]

Statute of Repose requires quick action.

Stutman Law’s New Loss department received a call about a 12-year-old barn in Pennsylvania that was collapsing during a heavy snow storm. In order to ensure that the statute of repose would not bar recovery, quick-thinking Stutman Law attorneys filed suit almost immediately. If suit had not been filed right away, the case may have […]

OSHA requirements point to negligent “hot work”

A fire occurred inside a residential home in Pennsylvania, caused by an HVAC contractor who installed a new furnace and utilized a torch to do the job. Stutman Law obtained a 90% recovery in this case by showing that the HVAC contractor failed to follow OSHA requirements for hot work.

Limited coverage requires prompt action

A massive gas explosion occurred at a chemical plant in Florida resulting in several deaths, severe injuries and property damage claims. The chemical plant had limited coverage for all of the death, personal injury and property damage claims. Stutman Law attorneys retained an expert who immediately investigated the loss scene and determined the cause of […]

Drug user caused sprinkler discharge damage to hotel

Stutman Law investigated a sprinkler system activation in a hotel in New York which was caused by a guest who was an apparent drug user. Through coordination with police, Stutman Law established that the hotel guest’s actions constituted negligence for which insurance coverage was available under the culprit’s homeowner’s policy. Settlement of $187,441 represented 98% […]

Failure to follow installation instructions leads to recovery

Stutman Law settled a case in which a flood at a South Carolina resort caused over $130,000 in damages. The loss occurred after a sprinkler installer used a faded section of CPVC piping which had been left out in the sun during construction eight years prior to the loss. The installer claimed there was no […]

Liability theory leads to recovery for water damage to dental office

Stutman Law’s insured had a dental practice located in Illinois right next door to a dry cleaner. A water leak damaged the dental office’s property. At the time of loss, the nature and cause of the water leak was unknown. The insurance carrier for the drycleaner informed the owner of the dental office that its […]

General contractor responsible for subcontractor’s negligence

An Indiana insured suffered over $100,000 in water damage due to a sprinkler head improperly being placed near the heat vent in the ceiling. Although the heater had also malfunctioned, Stutman Law’s investigation revealed that the failure would not have occurred if the sprinkler head was located the proper distance away from the vent. The […]

Utility firm’s negligence causes gas explosion

A gas explosion destroyed a residential home in Jackson County, Michigan. Stutman Law took the case to trial against the utility company responsible for causing the natural gas leak. After establishing that the utility company violated safe industry practices, a jury returned a verdict for both the subrogated insurer and its insured and awarded 100% […]

Aggressive pursuit leads to full recovery for water damage

A Michigan couple’s upscale home sustained water damage caused by their dishwasher. The heating element in the dishwasher malfunctioned and overheated, melting one of the rubber grommets used to seal the connection point between the end of the heating element and the interior floor of the dishwasher. This allowed water to leak through the bottom […]

Negligent use of outdated machinery causes fire

In Minnesota, significant smoke and water damage occurred to a commercial building that was located next to a machine shop that sustained a fire. The fire occurred when a large piece of manufacturing equipment malfunctioned. The machine was old and outside the statute of repose and therefore there was no recovery potential against the machine’s […]

Heating pad heats up more than its user

In Missouri, a two-year old heating pad that was placed on a sofa caught fire while unattended. The manufacturer defended the claim on the basis of consumer abuse. The manufacturer’s counsel claimed that it would make no voluntary offer. However, Stutman Law retained the appropriate experts and all the necessary evidence at the onset. The […]

Design defect in expansion tank leads to tragedy

A substantial worker’s compensation subrogation recovery was awarded to Stutman Law’s client in a case involving a wrongful death in St. Louis, MO. A worker was killed by an exploding water expansion tank being replaced during well drilling operations. The case involved a defect in the tank design which allowed condensation to accumulate around the […]

Stipulation of Liability leads to early settlement

In a home in Ohio, a high tech sump pump system in the basement failed and caused a small fire. The sump pump system was made of a highly flammable material that produced a significant amount of smoke and soot damage to the home. Stutman Law investigators retained an engineering expert who was a former […]

Waiver can’t help negligent contractors

A fire caused significant damage to a residential home in Ohio while under construction. The fire was caused by spontaneous combustion of rags that were left on the back porch by painting contractors. Defendants argued that they were protected by an implied waiver of subrogation in a construction contract. Stutman Law defeated defendants’ motions to […]

Recovery in a case barred by waiver

Stutman Law obtained a settlement in the amount of $175,000 in a Kentucky case where a water loss occurred when an employee of a sprinkler company was tightening a bolt on a two-inch coupling associated with the sprinkler system. The defendant was protected by a AIA waiver of subrogation clause. Stutman Law attorneys established that […]

Defendant’s attempt to dispose of evidence doesn’t bar recovery

A sprinkler maintenance company failed to properly drain a line in a dry sprinkler system during a service call. As a result, the water retained in the system froze and burst the fitting, causing significant water damage to the insured’s assisted living facility. Despite efforts by the sprinkler maintenance company to dispose of evidence of […]

Spoliation of evidence doesn’t bar recovery

A fire occurred in four garages that were attached to a multi-unit apartment building in Texas. The client retained its own expert, an electrical engineer, to examine a fire scene prior to referring the loss to Stutman Law. The expert went to the scene and removed evidence before anyone was placed on notice. Stutman Law […]

Utility company prevented from passing the blame for explosion

A gas company’s negligent instructions to its contractor led to an explosion and fire in a residential property located in Boonville, Missouri. Investigation of the residential property revealed that the fire originated at a furnace located in the basement of the property. Through an aggressive investigation, Stutman Law attorneys discovered that the local gas company […]

Defective coffee maker causes a fire in a residential property in Austin, Texas

The local fire marshal opined the fire originated in the area of a coffee maker, deep fryer and toaster located in the kitchen of the property. Following his examination of the loss scene, Stutman Law’s expert concluded the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction inside the coffee maker. More importantly, the expert was able […]

Water supply line causes significant damage to home

 A water loss occurred in a home in Arizona which involved a steel braided water supply line manufactured by a popular plumbing parts manufacturer. The loss occurred 11 months before the claim was referred to Stutman Law. There were no photographs of the scene and the manufacturer denied liability directly to Stutman Law’s client on […]

Landmark restaurant fire: Lack of evidence does not prevent recovery

 A kitchen grease fire occurred at a landmark restaurant in Los Angeles. The building owner’s insurer examined the scene, and failing to preserve any evidence having suspected an electrical failure, quickly abandoned subrogation attempts. Stutman Law attorneys representing the tenant’s insurer pursued a case against the duct cleaning company for allowing excessive grease buildup, and […]

Downed electrical wire causes fire and recovery against utility company

A residential home in West Virginia lost power during a snow storm when a tree fell onto an electrical line. At the time of the outage, the homeowner notified the power company of the details of the incident. Shortly thereafter, the power company repaired the downed wire. When the tree fell, the wires were pulled […]

Delay of two years and lack of evidence do not prevent recovery

Leaky windows and doors were the subject of a suspended two year investigation after the insured failed to independently resolve a claim with the builder.  Stutman Law received a “new” assignment for damages related to an alleged construction defect almost two years after the loss occurred. After receiving the loss, Stutman Law learned that no […]

Defective lawnmower severely injures worker

In Missoula, Montana, a worker was cutting the lawn at a ranch when the lawnmower slid under a fence and got caught. The worker attempted to free the mower from the fence but slipped and was severely injured by the mower blade. It was determined that the mower was defective and missing a critical handle […]