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Man Dies Due to Smoke Inhalation Resulting in Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer

While burning Christmas wrapping paper in his backyard, the decedent lost control of the fire and called for help. When firemen arrived ten minutes later they found the entire backyard engulfed in flame. While spraying the flames, the decedent was found lying face up with a charred phone next to his ear. The coroner determined the cause of death to be smoke inhalation. The defendant insurance company refused to pay accidental death benefits claiming the death was caused by a pre-existing heart problem that was triggered by the vigorous activity of trying to extinguish the brush fire. Pittsburgh lawyers Rosen Louik & Perry represented the victim’s bad faith claim and obtained tapes of the 911 call and were able to establish that the client’s decedent was snoring after he lost consciousness. This was inconsistent with an immediately fatal heart attack. Forensic pathologists were retained as experts who confirmed smoke inhalation as the cause of death. This case, including a bad faith cause of action, settled in excess of policy limits for $ 537,500.00.

A bad faith claim occurs when an insurance company breaches it’s agreement with a policy holder. At Rosen Louik & Perry, we understand the individual state laws governing insurance bad faith claims and we fight for our clients. Learn more about our firm and how we can represent your Pennsylvania bad faith claim.