In July 2005, Peter and Tracy Fagan awoke to smoke and flames in their Sevierville, Tennessee home. They called 911 and tried to contain the fire with a fire extinguisher, but the home burned to the ground. They lost everything they owned including their children's pets, clothing and toys; family photos; personal and business records; and an uninsured Corvette Stingray which was located in the basement. The Fagans determined, and always contended, that the fire smoldered and ignited after Mrs. Fagan fell asleep while smoking on the first floor of the home before she retired to bed upstairs.
After the fire, Tracy Fagan, who was an Allstate insurance agent, filed a claim under her Allstate homeowner's policy for the insured contents of the home. Instead of paying the claim, Allstate, within 48 hours of the fire, hired a fire origin expert and a private investigator and began an investigation of the Fagan family. In 2006, Allstate denied the claim alleging that the Fagans intentionally set the fire for financial gain due their finances and marital problems.
In fact, at the time of the fire, the Fagans owned approximately $1 million worth of real properties and had near perfect credit. All their mortgages were current and they had recently been approved for purchase of another rental property.
When the Fagans sued Allstate for payment of their claim, Allstate counter-sued them for bringing the claim and requested that the Fagans be ordered to reimburse Allstate for the company's $40,000 in expert and litigation costs plus its attorney's fees.
In late October 2010, after a 3 day trial in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, a jury returned a verdict in favor of the Fagans. The jury found that the Fagans did not set fire to their home and awarded them the full $193,778 due under their homeowner's policy. The jury denied Allstate's counter suit against the Fagans.
The Fagans were represented by Adams Law Firm attorneys Meridith Bond and Bryan Capps. The firm is proud to add the Fagans to the long list of clients we have helped in their exhausting fight against major insurance companies.