I was the renter of a duplex apartment, and we had a fire. We lost everything but our lives-thank god. This fire happened in july 2005. Now last Friday, the 27th, I was served with a summons. My old landlord’s insurance company is suing us for $80,000. They’re saying it was child negligence of my 2 year old as the reason for the fire. They’re saying my 2 year old(at the time)is responsible for setting the fire. In the summons it says On july22 2005, the defendants failed to properly supervise a minor child who negligently and carelessly caused a fire while playing with matches… It says we were responsible for supervising him and for keeping the matches in a safe place. This is bullsh!t! I was cooking, the father was sitting in the living room, and my son was playing in his room. The fire started in my room. And I had the matches on top of a very tall dresser. I feel like just because I admitted to having matches in the house, they’re automatically trying to place the blame on that
>:>: In the official fire report, the cause is stated as the result of a young child playing with a cigarette lighter. <:<:
This is the reason they filed suit. Did you have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance? If so, they will defend you. If not, you will have to pay the costs of your own defense.
If you really did lose everything you may be a good candidate for bankruptcy. Talk to a local lawyer about both of these issues.
In most states, they only have 2 years to file a complaint for that, so they might be cutting it close, if not totally outside of the statute of limitations. The date of the filing (check the file stamp on the summons you recieved) has to be within 2 years of the incident. Check that out, and also get a copy of the police or incident report that states exactly what the cause of the fire is.
The other thing is, the company has to put you on notice that they’re about to file a lawsuit, to give you the opportunity to settle it or deal with it out of court. It doesn’t seem to me, from your story here, that they tried to do that, and that won’t help them in court, either.
Basically, now that you’ve been served, you need to appear in court and file an answer to the lawsuit, and that would be done best if you had a lawyer. You need to show that your child wasn’t the cause of the fire — and check the statute of limitations.
This is a weird one. If the fire started in the other room, and the police report said it was an accident, it’s hard to imagine what they think they are going to get out of you. Are they trying to get you to settle and give them money? I wouldn’t. On the other hand if you have to hire an attorney it will be expensive. If you have an attorney and you win, you may be able to counter sue, and make them pay for harrassing you unfairly.
Do you have any money to pay them if they did win? I’m guessing not, so they can never collect probably. People usually only sue if they know another insurance company will pay the bill, otherwise they can never make you pay if it will make you bankrupt. Do you know why the fire started?
You should have never admitted any thing and counter sue because they had faulty wiring in the place. You are walking on quick sand here. So get legal advice. If they can shift the blame it lowers any pay out that they mite make for the firer. You left the door open for them by telling the Truth. It sucks but that is life with insurance companies!
Your Insurance Company is trying to recoup losses paid to the Landlord for the Landlords insurance policy. Your are going to need an experienced attorney experienced in civil case work/insurance companies ASAP. You should call your state’s bar association for a listing of attorney’s. If the insurance company receives a favorable judgment YOU COULD LOSE EVERYTHING YOUR OWN through bank levies, wage garnishments, reprocessions, etc.
The insurance is fishing for ways to reduce the amount they have to pay, Can they prove your son with playing with matches? Was it determined to be arson by a 2 year old ? I would not want to have to prove you were responsible in Court
What state are you in? I think you’re well beyond most state’s statute of limitations. Get an attorney. Sue them for filing a frivilous law suit. Sounds like the facts are on your side, all you need if the official report of what started the fire.
This is begining to sounds more and more like bad faith. You have insurance to cover accidents, not charge you for them. You need to get a good attorney.
You need the Fire Marshals report! That will state exactly what caused the fire. and get an attorney.
Who is this guy? He wasn’t there to see the fire start. In legal terms, he has no proof. Any good lawyer can get you out of it. Just make sure YOU have proof.
You need to see a lawyer ASAP.