WILKES-BARRE – The parents of a girl injured in a blast caused when David Lamoreaux set his house on fire have filed a lawsuit against him, but they may not be able to recover any money if a judge's ruling in a separate case is upheld.
Carolyn and John Zikosky of Exeter filed suit Monday in Luzerne County Court for injuries their daughter, Jessica, suffered when she was struck by debris that flew off Lamoreaux's home on Penn Avenue in Exeter on Aug. 1. 2009.
Lamoreaux is serving an 8-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 13-year-old girls, Jessica Zikosky and Morgan DeAngelo, who were walking nearby.
DeAngelo's parents, Kimberly and Mark, are also seeking monetary damages for their daughter's injuries.
The DeAngelo case hit a snag in December, when Luzerne County Judge David Lupas ruled Lamoreaux's insurance company, Erie Insurance Exchange, had no duty to defend him or pay any damages because Lamoreaux acted intentionally.
Julia Munley, the DeAngelos' attorney, said the decision is a serious blow to her client and others who have sued Lamoreaux because it leaves them little chance of recovering any money, given Lamoreaux is in jail and has no meaningful income.
These victims will have no opportunity for justice because there will be no coverage, Munley said.
Munley recently appealed the ruling to the state Superior Court. She said she will argue there is a question as to whether Lamoreaux's actions were intentional, noting he has filed court papers seeking to withdraw his guilty plea.
Even if Lamoreaux's actions were intentional, Munley said that the exclusion for intentional acts should not apply in DeAngelo's case because Morgan DeAngelo was not Lamoreaux's intended victim.
What occurred here on the street was to persons who had no connection to him. The exclusion should not apply in this case, she said.