Singer Katz wins 8-year fire loss battle against negligent furnace installer
It’s difficult to imagine the devastation of losing everything in a fire. The emotional loss, the massive financial impact and, in this case, a taxing eight-year court battle recently won for his clients by Jason D. Singer.
Mohammad Hariri, his wife, and infant son lost their home and all their belongings in a large fire in 2014. Due to the structural damage, the home was not safe for the authorities, such as the Office of the Fire Marshall or Technical Safety Standards Association (TSSA), to investigate the cause of the loss.
The family, who unfortunately did not have insurance, were left with nothing, not even an explanation for the fire. They hired an engineer to inspect the damage. He concluded that the fire was caused by an improperly installed furnace. The furnace installer and the expert it hired disagreed, leading to a denial of the claim by its insurance company.
How it played out:
The family retained Jason Singer to commence a lawsuit against the installer for their losses. The case was heavily contested by the installer who denied that the gas fittings were not properly tightened and that a gas explosion caused the fire. The expert engineer hired by the installer pointed to various inconsistencies in the evidence to argue that cause of the fire was undetermined.
After years of refusal to accept any responsibility for the loss by the installer, the case proceeded to a trial before a Judge in May 2021. The evidence at the six-day trial focused heavily on the investigations conducted by the experts.
On February 28, 2022, almost eight years to the date of the fire, the Court released its verdict deciding entirely in favour of the Hariri family. The Judge found that the cause of the fire was due to a gas explosion as the furnace fittings had not been properly tightened by the furnace installer. The decision means that the family will finally receive the compensation they deserve for losing their home and all of their belongings.
“Fire loss claims can be challenging where we have to prove the cause of a fire without a normal investigation by the authorities. If a fire is deemed accidental or underdetermined, our client loses. To succeed, we not only had to prove the cause of the fire but that the furnace installer acted in a negligent manner in its application of the gas fittings.” said Jason Singer, who carried the case for the family from the beginning. “I am so happy that the family will finally be compensated for everything they lost in this horrific fire.”
Fire loss claims and property insurance claims can be complicated, long and stressful battles. The legal team at Singer Katz has won numerous court cases in which punitive damages were awarded against insurance companies that wrongly denied insurance claims. For more information visit: https://singerkatz.com/results/.