Yes, dear reader, the above title is correct. A Florida Appellate Court actually had to rule that your homeowner’s insurance is not responsible to pay for damage caused by the “sudden explosion” of someone’s body. If you don’t believe me, you can read the actual opinion here.
Per the facts of the case, Ms. Rodrigo filed a lawsuit against State Farm Insurance Company for the damage caused to her condominium unit by blood and bodily fluids that had leaked into her unit from the above unit. Apparently, an elderly lady living above Ms. Rodrigo passed away and, since no one discovered the body for a long period of time, the body began to bloat and decay – to the point that the gasses inside the corpse built up enough pressure and the body’s abdomen burst. The sudden “bursting” of her body released gases and fluids which, per Mr. Rodrigo’s claim, leaked into Mr. Rodrigo’s unit and caused damage to her personal items and….well….certain smells. (I’ll ignore the parts about the deceased lady having several hungry dogs in the unit and the manner by which those dogs kept their hunger at bay during this time.)
The issue then became how to pay for the damage caused by this yucky stuff. The subject insurance policy was a “named peril” policy, which only provided coverage for causes of loss that are specifically listed in the policy. After noting that there was no coverage for gooey bodily fluids, Ms. Rodrigo tried to obtain coverage under the named peril of “explosion” – apparently keeping a straight face while doing so. At trial, she presented testimony from a doctor that the contents of the deceased’s body, after undergoing advanced decomposition, “explosively expanded and leaked”. She argued that since there had been an “explosion” of the deceased’s organs – surely it would qualify as damage caused by an “explosion” under the terms of the insurance policy.
Needless to say, neither the trial court nor the appellate court (Really?? You actually appealed this to a higher court!) agreed with this interpretation.