Butt Out! Subrogating Careless Smoking Fires

National Association of Subrogation Professionals, Annual Conference (Washington, DC)

Insurance companies often close subrogation investigations involving careless smoking without making a recovery because the smoker is dishonest about the events leading to the fire and/or the smoking materials that caused ignition were consumed in the fire. Attacking the credibility of smokers through a thorough and meticulous investigation is the key to being successful at subrogating careless smoking fires. This session will include strategies for exposing inconsistencies/lies in the smoker’s narrative, thresholds under NFPA 921 to admit expert testimony, trends in careless smoking fires, and case studies applying the principles of this presentation.


  • Brian Tetro, Partner, White and Williams LLP
  • Michael Ciamaichelo, Associate, White and Williams LLP
  • Michael Schaal, Fire & Arson Investigation Consultants, Inc.



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