Michael F. Schmidt Obtains Summary Disposition Defending A Fire Loss Case
Auto Club Group Insurance Company as Subrogee of Raghunath Kurri and Swathi Pabbathi v ABL Electronic Service, Inc., et al, Oakland County Circuit Court, the court granted summary disposition as to all claims made by the plaintiff in a property damage subrogation claim arising out of a house fire where the claimed damages were in excess of $450,000. The plaintiffs’ cause and origin experts and two electrical engineer experts testified that the fire was caused by the television set’s power cord which they claimed was pinched by the right rear wheel of the TV set and that employees of ABL when servicing the TV had negligently placed the TV’s right wheel on top of the power cord a year and a half before the fire occurred. We deposed the plaintiffs’ experts to establish the basis of their theories and then obtained an exemplar TV to establish that their theories were impossible to have occurred. We filed a motion for summary disposition arguing that the plaintiffs’ experts’ theories were all based upon speculation and conjecture, and could not have possibly occurred. The trial court, Judge Rae Lee Chabot, after reviewing the motion and brief, plaintiffs’ response brief and our reply brief and hearing oral argument ruled that there was no evidence that the power cord could have been under the right rear wheel beyond speculation and conjecture and granted our summary disposition.