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 the Fire Marshal was planning to order the demolition of the building due to safety concerns. Within minutes of receiving the call, Mr. Stutman immediately formulated a game plan that would allow an investigation of the fire scene while ensuring that the fire scene was safe for investigators to examine. The firm’s New Loss Department Chair, David P. Eastlack, immediately contacted a local fire investigator who traveled to the fire scene and explained to the fire officials how they could shore up the building so that it was safe to conduct a proper fire scene examination.

Subsequently, the investigators retained by Stutman Law worked with the local fire officials to identify the cause and origin of the fire. The investigators were able to retrieve video surveillance tapes, which revealed the fire’s area of origin. The appropriate parties were placed on notice of a possible claim and a joint fire scene examination was conducted. The investigators retained by Stutman Law found that a power cord had been inadvertently left pinched beneath a piece of equipment when it was installed.

As a result, a lawsuit was filed against the company responsible for installing the piece of equipment. During a litigation in which approximately twenty depositions were taken, the Stutman Litigation team was able to show that the equipment had never been moved or altered in any manner.

As a result of the adjuster’s quick referral, Stutman Law was able to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.

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