A Charlotte, North Carolina man, having purchased a case of rare, very
expensive cigars, insured them against ... get this ....fire. Within a
month, having smoked his entire stockpile of fabulous cigars, and having yet
to make a single premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against
the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated that he had lost the
cigars in "a series of small fires."
The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man
had consumed the cigars in a normal fashion. The man sued...and won.
In delivering his ruling, the judge stated that since the man held a policy
from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable,
and also guaranteed that it would insure the cigars against fire, without
defining what it considered to be "unacceptable fire," it was obligated to
compensate the insured for his loss.
Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance
company accepted the judge's ruling and paid the man $15,000 for the rare
cigars he lost in "the fires."
*** Now we get to the funny part ***
After the man cashed his check, however, the insurance company had him
arrested on 24 counts of arson. With his own insurance claim and testimony
from the previous case being used as evidence against him, the man was
convicted of intentionally burning the rare cigars and sentenced to 24
consecutive one year terms.