A dispute over a multi-million dollar insurance claim for an Ohio mansion that burned to the ground more than three years ago is set for trial next month in federal court in Cincinnati.
Jeffrey and Maria Decker sued Chubb National Insurance Company after it refused to pay the couple’s $14 million claim for the January 2014 fire in Cincinnati’s Indian Hill neighborhood, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Chubb then countersued, saying the couple intentionally misrepresented or concealed information during an investigation of the fire. Settlement talks for both lawsuits broke down last month, the newspaper reported.
Chubb is seeking repayment of $700,000 the Deckers received before their claim was denied. The company insured the home built in 2006 for $5 million. The Deckers claimed it would cost $10.7 million to rebuild and are seeking $60 million in their lawsuit.
The cause of the fire investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has yet to be determined.
The insurance company and investigators have questioned where Jeffrey Decker was when the fire broke out. Chubb has claimed investigators have told the company that cellphone tower records showed he was near his 5-acre property at the time. Decker said he was seven miles away at a construction site in suburban Cincinnati.
Jeffrey Decker’s former business partner testified in a deposition that Decker told him the night of the fire that his wife “would have killed me” if the family’s two dogs, who were outside during the fire, had been killed. Decker has said he stopped at home earlier in the day to let the dogs out.
The business partner committed suicide last year, his body found on the Deckers’ property.
Chubb also has claimed that the Deckers were planning to sell their house because they would soon not be able to afford it based on their lifestyles. The Deckers have said they had no plans to sell. A real estate agent testified in a deposition that Maria Decker called her three weeks before the fire about showing the house.
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