Posted by S Vijayaraghavan in his column: "Law made easy" in the New Indian Express, Chennai City Edition, 05 July,2007.
This is the best lawyer story of the year. What is even more amazing is that it is true!
A Charoltte NC, a lawyer, purchased a box of very rare cigars and then insured them against fire among other things. After having smoked the entire stockpile of cigars within a month and without even having made the premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company. Though the lawyer, in his claim, stated the cigars were lost "in series of small fires", the insurance company refused to pay stating, " the man had consumed the cigar in the normal fashion." But the lawyer sued.......and won!
In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. It was stated that the lawyer held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and guaranteed that it would insure them against fire. The company had not defined what is considered to be unacceptable fire, and was obligated to pay the claim, the judge ruled. Rather than endure the lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $ 15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the rare cigars lost in the "fires".
Now the best part of the story. After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $ 24,000 fine.
This is a HOAX. No such thing ever happened. The story started as a joke in a Toastmaster Club in 1997. Several variants have been circulating on the internet. This is the first time, it made a newspaper