03 May 2012
Insurance Company Challenging Connecticut Fire Claims
Utica First Insurance Co. is fighting lawsuits from a Christmas morning fire in Stamford, Connecticut, that resulted in the death of five people. They're arguing that the contractor hired to renovate the house that caught fire "misrepresented the type and scope of work he did," and that had the insurance company been properly informed, they wouldn't have issued coverage.
The contractor, Michael Borcina, allegedly misrepresented how many employees he had at his company, Tiberias Construction, as well as its sales and the scope of work the company performs. Utica First specifies limits on the number of employees, sales, payroll, and type of work and argues that because Borcina was not truthful about the details of his company when applying for insurance, the coverage should be void.
Discarded fireplace ashes were the cause of the fire on Christmas morning that killed a nine-year old child, two seven-year old twins, and their grandparents. Borcina is thought to be the one responsible for placing the ashes near some trash, catching fire to it and spreading to the house. The deceased girls' father's lawyer, Richard Emery, said that his client is considering a lawsuit against the contractor and others who he feels is responsible for the fire, though "it certainly seems that the insurance company is trying to wiggle out of their responsibility to compensate Borcina's victims."
Meanwhile, Borcina's lawyer, David Grudberg, said, "We are very disappointed that Tiberias Construction's insurance company is trying to get out from under its legal obligations." It's unfortunate that this tragedy is being dragged out in court--I'm sure the affected parties would like to put this event behind them as soon as possible, but the dispute between a possibly untruthful contractor and an unwilling insurance company is holding up the potential for closure.