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Beware the Bogus Avvo Answer!

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | April 28, 2011

No. 611

AVVO Answers can be enlightening and helpful. But some Answers are better than others.  And some are dead wrong.  Consider the first Answer below — clearly wrong — which was given by a California lawyer who gave the most answers this past week in the Lawsuits and Disputes category. She is in such a rush to answer more questions that she fails to give a correct (or even adequate) answer to this one.   The second answer is better, but still polly parrots the erroneous first answer. It focuses on the idea that a judgment in this case may not be worth anything.  Perhaps, but not the answer to the question asked.

Of course, the third Answer is correct.

My friend is being sued by their landlord’s insurance company for an accidental fire in which they lost their rental home.

Viewed 23 times. Posted 1 day ago in Lawsuits & Disputes – Pittsburgh, PA
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They have no renter’s insurance. Can they be liable for $45,000 for an accidental fire?

This question will be closed to new answers in 4 days.

Answers (3)

Pamela Koslyn 

Pamela Koslyn 

Contributor Level 10
Posted 1 day ago. This attorney is licensed in California.
Yes. “Accidental” is pretty much synonyous with “negligent,” which means it’s their fault.
Legal disclaimer: I’m only licensed in CA. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each… more

Jeffrey Harlan Penneys 

Jeffrey Harlan Penneys 

Contributor Level 6
Posted 1 day ago. This attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania.
The answer is yes, your friend can be sued. The reason he or she can be sued is because it was an accident, which means negligence on the part of your friend. The question then becomes, can the insurance comnpany collect against your friend? If your friend has no assets or insurance, he or she is “judgment proof” and the insurance company won’t be able to collect. Perhaps the “accident” was not really your friend’s fault. For example, if something caught fire due to an electrical problem that was unknown to your friend, then he or she could be off the hook. But if it’s something like leaving a lit cigarette or candle unattended, and the fire started that way, your friend is at fault.

Clifford L. Tuttle Jr. 

Clifford L. Tuttle Jr. Avvo Pro 

Contributor Level 7
Posted less than a minute ago. This attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania.
Whoa! “Accident” is not synonymous with “negligence.” The Plaintiff has the burden of proof. They may have a strong case or a weak one — depending upon the facts they can prove. It may even be possible to win the case without a trial. Your friend needs a trial lawyer with relevant experience.
Clifford L Tuttle, Jr. Attorney at Law Pittsburgh, PA
Legal disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Answers are based upon the… more



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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