Civil Liability in Arson Case

Date: April 1, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

Danny was running way behind on his mortgage and knew he was going to lose his home shortly. Danny decided to burn down his house and would therefore pay off his mortgage, plus make a few bucks extra. Danny set fire to his home and made it look like an electrical fire.

Paul was one of the first responders in his capacity as a volunteer fireman. Unfortunately, Paul sustained serious injuries in attempting to put the fire out before totally destroying Danny\’s home.

Issue: Will Danny be liable for Paul\’s bills and his pain and suffering?

Answer: Yes, the fire police will have no problem finding that Danny set the fire. Besides being held accountable for his criminal conduct, Danny will be potentially liable for civil damages including wage loss earning, medical expenses as well as his pain and suffering.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.