Real Estate Law
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Did the fire inspector determine what the cause of the fire was? If so what did they find? When did State Farm say they would get your policy to you? Was your copy of the policy lost in the fire? Who do you want to sue and what is the nature of the lawsuit?
If your total damages for all the things you lost is $7,500 or less you can file your claim against the landlord for all your damages. You can also sue State Farm for failing to honor the insurance contract. The landlord's wiring was the cause of the fire and he created an unsafe condition in violation of the lease covenant of a habitability, that is the house is safe and habitable. If you check with the local building inspector I am sure they will inform you that wiring the sauna to the electric light switch is illegal and against the building and fire code. These facts will make the landlord responsible for all the damage as well as your emotional distress from being in a fire.
In small claims court you do not need a lawyer so it is easier to operate there and the clerk can give you guidance on filling out the complaint forms.
You can sue state farm for not honoring the insurance policy in the same case.
This communication is not intended as legal advice. A local attorney should always be consulted for legal advice. No client/attorney relationship is intended or created by this communication.
You would file the complaint against the landlord for breach of the covenant of habitability as well as negligent installation of the sauna electrical system. You would have as damages injuries including emotional distress from the fire. You would file in the District Court for your County. Before you file, you should talk to an attorney that does personal injury and one that does insurance work. On your emotional distress claim you may be able to get some type of contingency arrangement. On the insurance claim against the rental insurance company you may be able to recover legal fees for pursuing that claim.
Where you can get form complaints for filing a suit for (1) breach of contract (on the lease implied covenant of habitability), (2) intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress, (3) negligent installation of the sauna, and (4) concealment of faulty wiring. The forms will not mirror your case but you can use them for a template. Basically you describe the facts of your situation and state the legal theories that fit those facts.
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