Entering the Home Stretch, 2022 Property Settlements Update


As RMI’s property division enters the 2022 home stretch, the firm has resolved by settlement a series of large loss recoveries on fire, explosion, water loss and collapse cases. Taken together the recoveries have resulted in millions of dollars in recoveries for clients.

The property division of RMI not only contains seasoned and respected subrogation counsel, but two members of the property division, including counsel and a recent addition to the support staff, are engineering graduates of the Ohio State University. 2022 highlights to date:

2022 Explosion Recoveries

RMI has established itself as major subrogation player in propane explosion cases. The track record has continued in 2022 with significant six-digit settlements involving total losses of both residential and commercial insured properties attributed to fugitive propane.

One recent six-digit recovery involved RMI’s successful arguing that immediately following a service interruption, a propane supplier failed to follow the required testing procedures set forth in NFPA 58, NFPA 54 and the Ohio Administrative Code. RMI also on a commercial property explosion had a six-digit recovery where it was alleged requirements of NFPA 58 were not followed by a service provider. On all the propane explosion cases, RMI was on scene immediately after the explosion, coordinating evidence retention, proper expert selection, and related issues unique to a propane case. In June, RMI Attorney David Matejczyk was a co-presenter at a joint IAAI and NASP seminar on propane explosion investigations.

Fire – More Spontaneous Combustion Settlements in 2022

On the fire front, RMI recently resolved by way of a six-digit recovery another spontaneous combustion fire during the construction and/or remodeling process.

The loss was the latest in a series of recoveries involving the improper use of staining products and disposal of staining rags. The most recent recovery represents the fourth settlement in twenty-four months involving a spontaneous combustion fire from staining products and rags during the construction and or remodeling process. The settlements taken together represent over $825,000 in recoveries.

Large loss fire recoveries this year have also involved cigarette fires and appliance installation errors.

Product Defects Lead to 2022 Water Loss Recoveries

Water leak recoveries during the year have involved product failures, sprinkler lines, improper use of crimping tools and plumbing installation errors. RMI Attorney Dustin Smith, with a background in fluid dynamics, litigated the bulk of the 2022 water losses and recoveries.

Collapse / Structure Settlements

RMI recovered by way of settlement multiple roof and structure collapse cases. Counsel coordinated and was on scene for the exams, noticing general and subcontractors who worked on the structures. RMI worked closely with a structural and civil engineer on the cases. The cases involved the duties of care in the construction process as to general contractors and subcontractors.

Immediate Scene Exams & Coordination

As in all large losses, RMI makes immediate contact with insureds, adjusters, local authorities and assigned experts. It is not unusual for RMI’s property attorneys to spend multiple days at a loss site during the subrogation initial and joint scene examinations. Collaborating closely with assigned experts, counsel attend the forensic lab exams of retained evidence and products. RMI recent recoveries in 2022 can be attributed to a thorough knowledge of the law, applicable codes, and standards. RMI also works with experts from all disciplines, along with the state fire marshal’s office, city investigators, building departments and property managers.