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Insurer Wins Suit Over Fire, Pot In Bay City Basement


bobandtorey
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Detroit — An insurance company can recover more than $130,000 from a Bay City woman whose home burned down when her then-husband smoked marijuana oil in the basement, an appeals court said Tuesday.

Brien Mathews had a medical marijuana card and could grow pot for others. But Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance said the insurance policy was violated because it wasn’t informed about the basement nursery.

“Far from merely adding one houseplant … Mathews had approximately 28 marijuana plants growing in the basement,” the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said. “Two rooms in the basement had been converted into growing rooms, with one housing plants in the ‘vegetative state’ and the other serving as the ‘flower room,’ and Mathews had spent upwards of $20,000 on lab equipment.”

The fire in January 2012 began when Mathews was smoking oil extracted from marijuana leaves. The extraction process involved butane, which is highly flammable.

The home was owned by Kasey McDermott. Nationwide Mutual said it immediately gave her $5,000 and later paid off her $131,850 mortgage before reversing course three months after the fire.

“Nationwide’s payments were not truly voluntary because it did not have all of the facts,” the company said in a court filing.

The appeals court agreed with U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington, who said McDermott’s home loss was not covered by the policy.

McDermott’s attorneys said she should be treated as an innocent victim.

“There is no evidence that Ms. McDermott knew her husband was going to use butane to either accidentally or intentionally blow up her home,” Jo Robin Davis said in a court filing.

 

 

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heres something i picked off this case:

 

 

 

unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, the use of the hand held torch in a basement full of butane vapor ignited the liquid butane in one of the pie plates.


he was going to smoke the raw bho before it evaporated fully. in a basement full of butane vapors.

its not the pot that makes you stupid, i think its the butane!

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"The fire in January 2012 began when Mathews was smoking oil extracted from marijuana leaves. The extraction process involved butane, which is highly flammable."

 

Had me scratching my head. Never heard of anyone smoking shatter that would burst in to flames like that. Something tells me the writer doesn't fully understand BHO.

 

I wonder if there were charges against Mr. Matthews for the oil, the article is pretty clear it wasn't "resin" but was a preparation of the "leaves". I wonder how they knew he didn't use any flower in it.

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"The fire in January 2012 began when Mathews was smoking oil extracted from marijuana leaves. The extraction process involved butane, which is highly flammable."

 

Had me scratching my head. Never heard of anyone smoking shatter that would burst in to flames like that. Something tells me the writer doesn't fully understand BHO.

 

 

he was smoking while extracting INDOORS. somehow one of his pie plate lit on fire when he attempted to lite his joint using a torch.

he was moving the on-fire pie plate around his other 3 pie plates when they all lit on fire...

 

hey, people still smoke when at the gas station. who knows man.

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he was smoking while extracting INDOORS. somehow one of his pie plate lit on fire when he attempted to lite his joint using a torch.

he was moving the on-fire pie plate around his other 3 pie plates when they all lit on fire...

 

hey, people still smoke when at the gas station. who knows man.

 

Richard Pryor comes to mind...

 

Pryor's mistake was more understandable to me. Butane extraction in a basement sounds like trying to burn down your house.

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i think its more like the percentage of people who do not understand that alcohol, distracted driving and cell phones cause accidents and should not drive cars, yesmichigan.

 

I see enough people driving like they are going to win the Daytona 500 by getting one car ahead of where they are. They aren't drinking, talking or distracted. They are focused on road raging. The most dangerous thing most people do in a day is drive anywhere. Not true for all professions but many.

 

Respect for a 1+ ton piece of steel authorized to travel at speeds of 70-80 mph is severely lacking. Definitely akin to people emptying 24 cans of butane in their basement. Maybe he had a vapor hood and all the requisite lab equipment GM was intimating could be used to do this safely. "People in labs can do it, I'm sure my basement is just as ready for the extraction and my advanced-amateur status makes me the ideal candidate to perform the procedure." sounds like an internal voice he shouldn't have listened to.

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if the

So 12% of the population should drive automobiles? 3% should use electricity? Very few people should ever turn on the TV (that stands regardless of their knowledge regarding how a TV works).

if the thought of a vapor hood had ever crossed his mind at all I suspect he wouldn't have sparked up a torch to smoke while evaporating pie tins full of smoke shop butane?

now, you know that's a silly analogy right? driving cars, using electricity vs dumping dozens of cans of butane to evaporate in a basement while smoking.

I don't like to see anyone hurt, and feel awful for the woman having to pay the cash back.... and I despise the whole extraction frenzy explosions, even though rare. I never heard of a butane extraction going bad without a flaming torch or a cigarette at play. stupid is as stupid does imo.

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Insurance is supposed to protect us from the stupid mistakes we make. I can cut a tree down and have it fall on my house and I'm covered. I can cause a gas leak because of stupidity, blow my house up, and I'm covered. This will get reversed at the Supreme Court because using butane in your basement doesn't somehow negate your coverage because medical cannabis was involved. Being a judge makes you stupid if you are on The Michigan Court of Appeals. Paid for stupidity. 

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now, you know that's a silly analogy right?

 

I got absurd because your comment

 

I've seen hundreds of Nbutane/Tamisium extractions performed in the lab of a pharmacy and nary an explosion. Theres more to stupidity than meets the eye

 

Seemed to indicate the extractions you've seen were anything akin to what this individual was doing.

 

Every BHO video I've watched has highlighted "Don't do this in your basement."

 

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Lol

 

We can laugh because he did an entire segment of his stand-up routine in the 80's about it (Guessing you recall). One of the funniest things was Richard Pryor doing the burning matchbook joke about himself. That helped me embrace self-deprecating humor as much as anything.

 

 

Who are You ? Lol

 

Thanks for you post i read them all 

 

JAFA is the acronym I usually use to describe myself. "Blue Thunder" was a good movie, wasn't it?

 

Thank you. I do write for the entertainment of the reader, I'm glad you derive some enjoyment from it.

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Insurance is supposed to protect us from the stupid mistakes we make. I can cut a tree down and have it fall on my house and I'm covered. I can cause a gas leak because of stupidity, blow my house up, and I'm covered. This will get reversed at the Supreme Court because using butane in your basement doesn't somehow negate your coverage because medical cannabis was involved. Being a judge makes you stupid if you are on The Michigan Court of Appeals. Paid for stupidity. 

 

its fed court since the ins company is in ohio and the costs are over $75k.

 

i think what they ruled on was that the insurance policy covered normal homeowner bunny muffin. like cutting down a tree, or leaving a candle burning or a gas leak from a house appliance like a furnace or stove. but since this guy was using chemicals that were never meant to be used indoors, he wasnt covered.

 

its akin to running a propane barbeque grill in your basement.that starts on fire. somehow i dont think its covered in your policy because its not the intended use of the house. or something like that. the fed legality of the marijuana wasnt even a factor haha.

 

a better question is would he be: would she be covered if he was just using everclear alcohol instead?

or if the guy was doing it outside and he still lit everything on fire, and the fire spread to the house, then she would have been covered?

Edited by t-pain
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its akin to running a propane barbeque grill in your basement.that starts on fire. somehow i dont think its covered in your policy because its not the intended use of the house. or something like that. 

 

 

 

I don't think it's the same because the gas grill manufacturer's CERTIFIED operating instructions specifically forbid it's use indoors. People can use propane heaters indoors when the instructions do not say otherwise. It's all about the regulators on the appliance.

Edited by Restorium2
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