Nationwide Recoveries

$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 cigarette ignited the aged attic insulation, which over time loses fire-retardant qualities. There was no direct evidence of careless smoking. Stutman Law demonstrated that the defendant could not offer a credible explanation for the fire and convinced a judge to issue a “res ipsa loquitur” instruction. This legal victor cleared the way for a Monroe County jury to award $700,000 to the insurance company.