Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2012

Insurance company accuses apartment owners of fraud

An early morning fire in October 2005 at Boardwalk Apartments, 524 Frontier Road, killed three residents and left many homeless. Now, the apartments' former owners say their insurance company should have paid an additional $1 million in claims.

An early morning fire in October 2005 at Boardwalk Apartments, 524 Frontier Road, killed three residents and left many homeless. Now, the apartments' former owners say their insurance company should have paid an additional $1 million in claims.

September 6, 2012


An insurance company alleges the owners of the former Boardwalk Apartments committed fraud in claims they submitted after a deadly 2005 fire destroyed one building at the west Lawrence complex.

The allegations from State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company of Ohio come as part of a lawsuit the Boardwalk owners filed in January claiming State Auto should have paid an additional $1 million in claims to cover business income losses due to the fire.

But attorneys for State Auto allege Boardwalk owners “purposefully delayed” rebuilding the burned building.

“Specifically, State Auto alleges Boardwalk razed its entire apartment complex, including buildings unaffected by the fire, and constructed a new and different apartment complex,” Robert Cockerham, a State Auto attorney wrote in a motion. “While Boardwalk is free to do with its apartment complex what it wants, it is fraud for Boardwalk to claim losses connected with its business decision to build an entirely new apartment complex as losses connected with the fire damage to (one building).”

A new complex, Tuckaway Apartments at Frontier, in 2010 and 2011 replaced the former Boardwalk complex, which is north of Sixth Street and Lawrence Avenue.

Three Boardwalk residents, Nichole Bingham, Yolanda Riddle and Jose Gonzalez, died in the Oct. 7, 2005, early morning fire, and a jury later convicted another resident, Jason Allen Rose, who is now 26, of aggravated arson, three counts of involuntary manslaughter and other charges. Rose is serving a 10-year sentence in prison.

Boardwalk’s attorneys have said State Auto’s fraud claims are baseless, as attorney Stacey M. Bowman argued in a motion earlier this month that Boardwalk’s owners rebuilt the building destroyed in the fire within a time frame the parties agreed upon.

“Boardwalk alleged that it timely notified State Auto of its election to rebuild and that State Auto led Boardwalk to believe it was evaluating the business income and replacement cost claims by asking Boardwalk to provide information and documents related to the claims,” Bowman wrote.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson is handling the lawsuit. A trial is currently scheduled for August 2013.


justoneperson 5 years, 5 months ago

I'm not seeing the connection between the story and the photo....

windjammer 5 years, 5 months ago

That is one stipid comment. You must be some kind of idiot.

Ragingbear 5 years, 5 months ago

The reason they razed the entire complex was because the fire showed off that the other buildings were death traps waiting to happen.

The owners are jerks. They got confrontational with the homeless tenets over comments they made about moot points months beforehand. They should not have received a dime from their insurance. They KNEW how deadly they were.

headdoctor 5 years, 5 months ago

I don't know if they are guilty of insurance fraud but they sure screwed over several people that were not even tenants.

paulveer 5 years, 5 months ago

well, it's automatically "murky and slanderous" to you if you think it's from a "leftie." (FHNC, you can have your quote marks back now, thanks)

msezdsit 5 years, 5 months ago

Insurance company accusing landlords of fraud. Hard to pick a favorite in that scenario. While there are a lot of well meaning landlords, they get a bad rap from all the slumlords preying on college kids who have enough on their plate to make it difficult for them to fight a loser landlord. Now, when did an insurance company ever pay a claim without throwing every thing they can against the wall on the outside chance something might stick.

bad_dog 5 years, 5 months ago

Wrong. The personal, legal and financial implications of a politician's actions are significantly more far reaching than any insurer. And BTW, the question I responded to asked if there were bigger scumbags, not better compensated ones.

Next time you believe you were screwed by an insurer, pick up the phone and call the Kansas Insurance Department (ask for the Consumer Assistance Division) or your friendly local attorney. They'll be happy to help you if you aren't capable of doing so yourself. That of course assumes your perception of being screwed has legs. Some folks have trouble understanding insurance contracts that regulators require be written in language so simple an 8th grader can understand them.

LawrenceTownie 5 years, 5 months ago

Hey g_rock, more apartments are on the way. As soon as their mobile homes east of Home Depot are all gone, the new apartments will be built.

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