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article found at KXAN.com -Leslie Rhode/KXAN News Special Contributor photo by Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.


AUSTIN (KXAN) — When you have three small boys running around your house, you also have a slew of electronic toys and gadgets that come along with it. To make sure she was always prepared for long road trips and car pools, Jennifer Buaas kept extra AA and AAA batteries in her vehicle, just in case one of her boys needed to power one of their toys. 

 Early Halloween morning, Jennifer heard a car horn going off in her driveway.

“My husband grabbed the keys, went to the garage, opened the garage door and the Suburban was completely on fire,” said Jennifer.

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Subrogation & Recovery Law Blog Posted on March 15, 2016 by Michael Melusky--Cozen and O'Connor 

In a recent decision, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland considered an issue of first impression regarding the doctrine of spoliation. Maryland appellate courts had “not established how to apply the spoliation doctrine in the context of a situation” “where the physical object . . . that was destroyed [was] itself the subject of the case.” Cumberland Ins. Grp. v. Delmarva Power, No. 72, 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 12, at *10 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Feb. 1, 2016). The court held that “it is appropriate to balance the degree of fault . . . on the part of the spoliator, on the one hand, with the level of prejudice that injures to the defense because the evidence has been destroyed on the other.” Id. at 11. The court explained that if this balance favors imposing a sanction, “the question then becomes what remedy is appropriate and whether a remedy less drastic then dismissal can cure the prejudice to the defendant.” Id.

 

From Out of the Abyss

This weeks article is written by Dr. Ruth Alexander.  It is from the May 1956 VOL II No.4 issue ofthe California Conference of Arson Investigators' newsletter.

Our America: Treatment "Coddles" Juvenile Delinquents 

 

Description

This recall involves clear acrylic Hanukkah menorahs in a pyramid design that are 10.5 inches long, 1.2 inches wide and 2.3 inches high. Model number 240-14-0169 and bar code can be found on a round white label on the side of the menorah.

Get all the details at CPSC.

Abstract:

Although electrical fires constitute the greatest percentage of the main causes of building fires, the critical evidence used by fire investigators to identify electrical fires is not always convincing to the general public.  In this study, we scrutinized the microstructures of fire-causing copper wires and simulated the external environmental conditions required for the formation of fire-causing arc beads. Our metallographic investigation revealed that the primary thermal dendrites of copper at the fire-causing arc bead grew parallel to one another, but in the opposite direction to the heat flow.  We determined the relationships of the undercooling (?T0), the growth velocity (?), and the primary spacing (?) of the dendrites with respect to the electrical wire’s diameter.  Accordingly, fire investigators can now identify fire-causing arc beads in terms of these metallographic characteristics, thereby providing clear scientific evidence for litigant judgments of electrical fires.

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New Jersey Supreme Court Holds that a Person Violates the Insurance Fraud Statute Even if Insurer is Not Duped Into Paying a Fraudulent Claim by Michael Henry |  Cozen O'Connor

In the recent case of State of New Jersey v. Robert Goodwin, 224 N.J. 102, 129 A.3d 316 (N.J. 2016), the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that a person violates the insurance fraud statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4.6(a), even if he or she does not succeed in duping an insurance carrier into paying a fraudulent claim. In doing so, the Supreme Court reinstated Robert Goodwin’s conviction for insurance fraud.

 

The Six Motives for Firesetting

At any point during your career as a fire investigator you will be assigned to investigate an incendiary fire. When the investigator arrives on the scene, information about the incident will be coming from a variety of sources, including police, firefighters, witnesses and the occupants or owner. It is critical to sort all of the information and analyze it properly. During the investigation we must use critical thinking and ask many questions such as, why was this fire was deliberately set? Why was the home, business or vehicle the target of an arsonist? What was the motivation of the arsonist?

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