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JURY REJECTS FIRE INSURANCE CLAIM

A Chautauqua County couple's $175,000 fire insurance claim against the former Aetna Life and Casualty Co. was rejected Friday by a Buffalo jury.

After a three-week trial before State Supreme Court Justice Rose D. LaMendola, a six-member jury deliberated about an hour before returning a no-cause verdict on the claim of James and Carol Dill over the fire at their Zahm Road home in Forestville on Dec. 5, 1989.

Although the jury found the fire was intentionally set by an unnamed representative of the Dills, Patrick J. Maxwell, attorney for the insurance carrier -- now known as Travelers Property Casualty Co. -- said no criminal investigation will be sought.

Maxwell said that with interest, the Dill claim would have been worth about $300,000 had the jury accepted their claim of bad-faith actions by the insurance carrier.

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