After six years of legal battles, Judy Rodrigo was denied coverage for damages resulting from an explosion of an upstairs tenant’s decaying corpse.
The neighbor, who died of natural causes, lived alone with her dog in a Jupiter, Florida rental unit. Her body remained undiscovered for two weeks, which led to the buildup of bacteria-producing gases, and eventually, her abdomen burst. After complaints of a foul odor emanating from the apartment, maintenance workers forced open the door and found the dog snacking on her remains.
The corpse’s fluids leaked into Rodrigo’s apartment, and caused a noxious smell to permeate the property. State Farm
offered her an initial appraisal award, but Rodrigo rejected it in hope of obtaining full coverage for the extensive cleanup process.
The 15th Circuit Cout in Palm Beach sided with State Farm, arguing that Rodrigo did not provide enough evidence that the elderly neighbor’s fate was “tantamount to an explosion.”
"The plain meaning of the term 'explosion' does not include a decomposing body's cells explosively expanding, causing leakage of bodily fluids," the court stated.