Case of Exploding Corpse Won't Be Revisited, Appeals Court Rules
Photo via FEMA
Back in April, we brought you the story about a Jupiter woman having to pay for the damages an exploding corpse caused to her condo unit.
She tried to sue the insurance company that refused to pay for the damages, but the suit was dismissed.
Now, a judge has declared that the case is closed and will not be revisited, which means the woman had to pay for the exploding-corpse mess herself.
On Wednesday, the Fourth District Court of Appeal said it won't reexamine its original decision.
The woman, Judy Rodrigo, lived downstairs from an elderly woman who had died of natural causes in 2008. The death went undiscovered for two weeks.
During that time, the body went through its normal decaying process and eventually became bloated to the point that the gases inside the corpse built enough pressure to cause the dead woman's abdomen to burst. This released gases and fluids, which eventually leaked into Rodrigo's apartment below.
Rodrigo filed a civil lawsuit against State Farm to the 15th Circuit Court in Palm Beach, claiming that she had to spend her own money cleaning her unit and seeking reimbursement.
Rodrigo also claimed that the Keystone Condominium Association failed to discover the dead woman and let the corpse fester, which led it to burst, leaking corrosive fluids into her apartment and the reeking stench of death that comes along with it.
"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," the lawsuit read.
But the court denied her claim of wanting State Farm to pay based on Rodrigo's personal property damage coverage. The court went on to say Rodrigo failed to establish that the woman's corpse was "tantamount to an explosion."
State Farm, which claimed in court that it did not cover exploded corpses, had originally approved an appraisal award for Rodrigo, but she denied it, saying she wanted full coverage. The amount offered by State Farm was unspecified.
On Wednesday, the appellate court said it would not revisit the case, saying the original ruling will stand.
Judge Melanie G. May said State Farm's claim that it did not cover what Rodrigo was asking for was correct.
"The plain meaning of the term 'explosion' does not include a decomposing body's cells explosively expanding, causing leakage of bodily fluids," May wrote in her ruling, according to the Sun Sentinel.
You can view a copy of Rodrigo's original complaint below:
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