Plaintiff wins causation or speculation argument between two insurers
Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company paid its coverage to the Isham family after their home burned down, and then sued, under its subrogation rights, a propane company and contractor for negligence. Nationwide argued that Parker's Propane Gas Company and Staley Plumbing and Heating caused the fire when they installed a compromised flexible gas line behind the Isham's oven. The Defendants argued that Nationwide's claim was based entirely on speculation about whether a leak fueled a fire in the oven-drawer for several hours, or whether the fire was caused by a faulty temperature regulator.The Appeals Court overturned the summary disposition granted to the Defendants and reinstated the case. It held that the insurer's reconstruction experts provided adequate evidence to create a question of fact regarding the cause of the fire, and that the Defendants' claim that they installed an intact new gas line, was subject to dispute.