VERDICT IN A JAMAICA EARTHQUAKE FIRE CASE
After hearing the case of Pawsly and company, of Jamaica, for seventeen days against the Scottish Union National Insurance company the first of four test cases arising out oi the earthquake and fires at Jamaica, in January last, the jury found for the-plaintiff. By the consent of the parties in the case, the issue was narrowed to the following simple question: “Was the fire which destroyed the plaintiffs’ goods of earthquake origin?” Counsel for the defendants, who is a son of Charles Dickens, presented proof to show that the fire originated in a building one block away to the eastward, and that it broke out after the earthquake had occurred. Counsel for the plaintiffs brought evidence in rebuttal and presented an overwhelming mass of evidence that a fire had occurred prior to the earthquake in the north part of the city, and thence by successive fires to the plaintiffs’ premises. The plaintiffs’ counsel furthermore contended that, evert if the fire were of earthquake origin, the earthquake clause in the policy could apply only to the premises in which the fire originated.