WILKES-BARRE – An insurance company involved in a case in which an Exeter man admitted to setting fire to his home that caused an explosion that damaged 58 other buildings and a school in 2009 has filed court papers saying it is not responsible for paying insurance claims because the act was intentional.
An attorney for Erie Insurance Co. filed court papers this week outlining reasons why Erie is not responsible for paying insurance claims due to insurance policies in a blast that injured two girls, damaged 55 homes, three business and an elementary school in August 2009.
David Lamoreaux, 46, is serving an eight-to-16-year prison sentence for his guilty plea in May 2010 to arson and causing or risking a catastrophe for setting fire to his home in response to a domestic dispute with his wife.
The fire caused the home, which had been doused with gasoline, to explode. The blast damaged 58 homes and businesses, and injured two then-13-year-old girls, Jessica Zikosky and Morgan DeAngelo, who were walking nearby.
In December 2012, county Judge David Lupas ruled Lamoreaux’s insurance company, Erie, had no duty to defend him or pay any damages because Lamoreaux acted intentionally.
The ruling hampered civil filings by the Zikosky and DeAngelo families to recoup damages for their daughters’ injuries.
The insurance company’s filing this week outlines that specific argument: That because Lamoreaux’s actions were intentional, the company is not required to pay claims to the Zikosky and DeAngelo families.
The insurance company’s policies, the filing says, do not cover injury or property damage that is “expected or intended.”
Lamoreaux has appealed his case to the state Superior Court, an action that is still pending.
He is locked up at the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh.
Lamoreaux has said the explosion was not a violent act of arson but an accident in a failed suicide attempt.
He spent several months in a medically induced coma at the Lehigh Valley Burn Center in Allentown after the explosion.