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Judge rules State Farm isn't liable to condo-owner for corpse's leaked bodily fluids

Court rules that decomposition of the body cannot be characterized as an "explosion."

By Evan Bleier
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JUPITER , Fla., April 25 (UPI) -- A Florida appeals court judge ruled earlier this week that insurer State Farm doesn’t owe a condo-owner for damages that occurred when her neighbor’s dead body leaked fluids into her home.

Judy Rodrigo originally brought the insurer to court in 2007, arguing that the undiscovered corpse had “exploded” in order to collect on her personal property policy’s "named peril” clause.

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At the time, State Farm offered Rodrigo a payment, but she refused.

Rodrigo's civil lawsuit against State Farm stated that "another unit owner's body exploded thereby causing blood and bodily fluids to go into the adjoining condominium and the unit owned by Judy Rodrigo."

State Farm disagreed that a decomposing body constituted an explosion and Judge Melanie May agreed.

"Rather than stretching common sense, the trial court correctly gave the term 'explosion' its 'plain and unambiguous meaning as understood by the man on the street,'" May wrote. "The plain meaning of the term 'explosion' does not include a decomposing body's cells explosively expanding, causing leakage of bodily fluids."

May wrote that Rodrigo's attempt to collect was “novel,” but ruled against her nonetheless.

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