NY State Supreme Court Bench Trial
In a recent NY State Supreme Court bench trial decision, an origin and cause investigation and testimony completed by NEFCO helped lead to a large subrogation estimated to be in excess of $600K. In this case the court stated, “The court’s decision is based on the evidence presented, and primarily on the credibility of expert witnesses…” The decision went on to say, “The plaintiffs’ expert, Mr. Dugan (NEFCO’s Investigator), was a particularly persuasive witness. He was not only informative, he was clear on his testimony whether on direct or cross-examination. He was never evasive, nor did he waver in his expert opinion.”
NEW JERSEY & PENNSYLVANIA: Multiple Recoveries on Vehicle Fire Losses
NJ: NEFCO’s Certified Vehicle Investigators conducted a successful O&C investigation of a 2014 SUV and were able to identify the fire originated as a result of a faulty fuel line supply. Upon review of NEFCO’s findings the auto manufacturer accepted responsibility and our client received 100% reimbursement for their claim.
PA: NEFCO’s Certified Vehicle Investigators conducted a successful O&C investigation of a 2017 vehicle and were able to identify the fire originated as a result of faulty workmanship by auto dealer service technician during routine maintenance. Based on NEFCO’s investigation the dealership accepted liability and our client recovered approximately $35,000.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: $1,000,000 Recovery
Working on behalf of the plaintiff, NEFCO fire analysts helped our client recover a $1,000,000 award. After the initial origin and cause investigation conducted by the defendants insurance company, the plaintiff’s structure was demolished and all evidence removed. NEFCO’s fire analysts used photographs, information from interviews, and depositions taken to evaluate the possible cause of the fire loss. NEFCO’s experts were deposed in this matter. Affidavits were filed on behalf of NEFCO’s experts stating that our client, the plaintiff, was not able to have a site inspection conducted due to the defendants insurance company ordering the site demolished before they could retain their own experts. Due to the lack of physical evidence being collected and preserved by the defendant, and the lack of a structure to examine, pinpointing an exact cause was impossible to prove.
The judge agreed with NEFCO’s allegations and our client was awarded $1,000,000.00.
PENNSYLVANIA: Dryer Fire Subrogation
NEFCO investigator, Michael Drushel, recently conducted an origin and cause investigation resulting in a subrogation recovery of 92% of policy limits. In his case NEFCO was retained by a national insurance carrier on behalf of the building owner/landlord. NEFCO’s fire investigation, completed an investigation in accordance with NFPA 921, was able to determine that the fire was caused due to a lack of dryer maintenance by the appliance’s owner (Tenant). The area of origin and evidence were immediately secured and the tenant’s insurance was put on notice. A joint inspection of the evidence by both partiers confirmed NEFCO’s findings and our client successfully recovered 92% of the policy limit from the tenant’s insurance carrier. The large loss adjuster handling this claims stated that “The main reason we recovered on this loss was due to NEFCO’s ability to quickly secure the scene and prevent spoliation of evidence. Everyone involved in the process seemed to be rushing to clean and restore the scene. Had NEFCO not been so urgent and diligent in their securing of evidence and their communication, chances are the dryer may have been disposed by a restoration company and forfeited our opportunity to recover”
LOCATE AN ANALYST
NEFCO has over 150 origin and cause experts throughout our nationwide coverage area. The experience of our court-qualified expert witnesses is helpful for subrogation, arson, and liability cases. Explore NEFCO's interactive map to locate an analyst near you.
SUBMIT AN ASSIGNMENT
Have you recently undergone a loss due to a fire accident? Let one of our origin and cause experts investigate the scene. Get started right away and submit an assignment today. A NEFCO court qualified analyst will contact you shortly.
THE INSTITUTE OF FIRE SCIENCE™ (TIFS)
TIFS provides classroom and hands-on instruction, including live burn exercises, to all fire investigators from the beginner to the seasoned veteran. For more information please visit TIFS website.