Ohio Homeowner Charged With Murder, Arson Declined EUO

December 15, 2016

Court records filed in June show a property owner, recently charged with murder and aggravated arson, declined to cooperate with an insurance company investigation of his claim for a house fire that resulted in an Ohio firefighter’s death nearly a year ago.

Lester and Bertha Parker filed property and contents claims as a result of the loss.

Cincinnati Insurance Company filed a declaratory judgment action when the Parkers failed to cooperate with an investigation into the December 28, 2015 deadly house fire. The insurer noted it had sent several letters to the Parkers in an attempt to investigate the fire loss. The Parkers responded with a request to reschedule an examination under oath (EUO), before an attorney for them wrote to the insurer in May advising the Parkers were exercising their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and wouldn’t submit to EUOs, according to the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News.

A Butler County judge in July granted the declaratory judgment in favor of the insurer and ruled the insurer did not have to provide coverage for the fire in Hamilton.

Parker, 66, pleaded not guilty Tuesday. Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman died fighting the fire.

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