This actually took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them, among other things for fire. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of this great cigars, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.
In his claim the lawyer stated the cigars were lost in a series of small fires.
The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The lawyer sued and won! Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated that, nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed insured against fire, so they were obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for the loss of the cigars that perished in the fire!
Now for the best part.
After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson! With his own insurance claim and testimony, he was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine. This story won first place in last year’s criminal lawyer award contest. Only in America ... no wonder the rest of the world thinks we’re nuts!
Cipriano C. Perez