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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.

 

Smart Meters Spark Controversy

Posted: May 13, 2013 7:26 PM PDT Updated: May 13, 2013 8:06 PM PDT

WASHINGTON -Millions of homes now have smart meters and if you don't have one yet, you probably will.

Power companies are swapping out old meters -- for newer "smart" versions. The devices allow utilities to read your meter wirelessly without sending a meter reader.

But opposition is growing here and across the country warning of health and safety concerns. Some smart meters have overheated and caught fire.

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Home Fire Sprinklers a Top Priority for NFPA in 2014

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.

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Believe or not to believe…that is the question

Believe or not to believe…that is the question.

CARLISLE, Ky. - Fire officials say a central Kentucky woman doused her couch in alcohol in an attempt to kill bed bugs, but dropped a lit cigarette on the furniture and started a fire.

WLEX-TV in Lexington reported that about 30 people in a Carlise apartment complex lost their homes in Friday night's blaze.

Firefighters disappeared into the smoke as they climbed the ladder to make sure everyone was out the building.

It took hours to get a handle on the out of control fire.

Everyone made it out of the apartments, but four people were treated for smoke inhalation.

Complex resident Jackie Bond told the station that she lost everything, but "As long as everybody's alive, I'll find a way."

Reference - http://www.hvchemical.com/msds/deal.htm

GM recalling 370,000 full-size trucks for fire risks

General Motors Co. will recall 370,000 full-size pickups for fire risks after eight reported fires. The automaker is urging owners not to leave their trucks unattended while idling.

GM said Friday it will recall 2014 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras to reprogram software that could lead to overheating of exhaust components, potentially causing engine compartment fires. The 2014 Silverado is one of three finalists for North American Truck of the Year, which will be awarded Monday at the North American International Auto Show.

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Coffee Break Training

NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and
explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in
2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and
job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary
references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training
and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope,
purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the
quality and thoroughness of their investigations.

NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.

Read more...

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