When the Plester’s furniture store burned down in 2003, the insurance company refused to pay, blaming arson as the cause of the fire. A ruling of arson meant that the Plester’s were unable to collect their benefit claims, and were left without any way to recover their business. After a five-week trial, the jury awarded the Plester’s $525,000 punitive and aggravated damages in addition to their initial insurance benefits claim. The punitive damage award is the highest award upheld against an insurance company by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Mazza vs. Hamilton Township Insurance Co – In July 2003, following a seven and a half week trial involving a fire loss/arson claim, a St. Catharines’ jury awarded Alfred Kwinter’s client, Frank Mazza, the amount of the claim plus $2,000,000 for punitive damages – a new Canadian record.
July 2003, Alfred M. Kwinter Plester vs. Wawanesa Insurance Co.