Nice idea, but no cigar

In the public's eyes, most lawyers are defenceless against the accusation that they charge outrageous sums of money while contributing little to the social fabric of society. Ambulance chasers are money-grabbing urchins; corporate lawyers are social pariahs; and litigators, well… After reading this apparently true story, it seems litigators simply can't help what they do.
A man – and obviously this is said to have taken place in the US – having purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire, among other things. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated that the cigars were lost “in a series of small fires”.
The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The man sued – and won.
In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge nevertheless stated that the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be “unacceptable fire”, and was obligated to pay the claim.
Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 (£9,700) to the man for his loss of the rare cigars lost in the 'fires'.
But – wait for it, because it gets better – after the man cashed the cheque, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 (£15,500) fine.
This is such a good story that it won first prize in the recent Criminal Lawyers Darwin Award Contest.