Insurance company says lavish lifestyle prompted mansion fire - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Insurance company says lavish lifestyle prompted mansion fire

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(FOX19 NOW file) (FOX19 NOW file)
INDIAN HILL, OH (FOX19) -

The owners of a $4 million dollar Indian Hill mansion who filed a $60 million lawsuit against their insurance carrier are accused of living well beyond their means prior to the January 2014 blaze.

Court records show Maria and Jeff Decker were living a lavish life style well-beyond their means that added up to over $30,000 a month.  

Attorneys for Chubb National Insurance Company wrote in an April 3 federal court filing that Jeffrey and Maria Decker “concealed and misrepresented material facts relating to the policy.

The Deckers owned a 22 room mansion in the Indian Hill neighborhood they dumped $12.5 million in, but was nowhere near worth that on the market. In January, 2014 the mansion burned. Within days, state and federal fire investigators were on the property working to figure out how the fire started.

According to the insurer's investigators, Decker allegedly told a Chubb representative shortly after the fire, he'd take a quick cash settlement of around $8 million, implying he wasn't interested in re-building the house.

They also said he lied about how much money was in a safe in the house. 

According to court records, Decker initially said the safe contained $500 to $600,000.

He later denied making that claim.

"It's two attorneys and two side doing their thing, advocating for the clients, said Mike Allen, former Hamilton County prosecutor and FOX19 NOW legal analyst.

In April, 2014, the Ohio Fire Marshal's Office announced the cause of the fire was “undetermined,” but investigators kept the investigation into the cause open. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms assisted the state in trying to figure out what caused the fire.

Last month, all investigating agencies involved in the case met and each agreed there was no new information to determine the cause of the fire, according to state fire marshal's office.

In January, the Deckers sued Chubb National for failing to pay out the insurance claim. The company paid the Deckers around $700,000 in claims right after the fire in 2014. In the Decker lawsuit, they're asking a judge to award them $60 million in damages for the insurer's delays in settling the insurance claim.

Calls to the Deckers' attorney have not been returned. Chubb's representative said they don't comment on pending litigation.

The jury trial in the civil case is scheduled for July.

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