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Judge: Insurance company doesn't have to pay homeowner charged with arson

Posted at 1:24 PM, Jul 15, 2017

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- An insurance company won't have to pay a man charged with arson after his home burned, the Journal-News reported Saturday.

Judge Noah Powers ruled in favor of Fairfield-based Cincinnati Insurance Company, finding the homeowner didn't cooperate with an investigation into the fire.

Ross Compton, 59, was charged with aggravated arson and insurance fraud in January. Police said he gave statements "inconsistent with evidence" about a Sept. 19 fire that caused $400,000 in damages at his Middletown home. He's pleaded not guilty.

Compton had a policy with Cincinnati Insurance covering the home, located on Court Donegal. But after he submitted a claim, Cincinnati Insurance sent a letter explaining it was "exercising its right under the policy to conduct his examination under oath." The company asked him to attend a March 16 meeting and to submit specific documentation about his claim.

According to the company, Compton never showed up and didn't provide the documents.

Powers ruled June 28 Compton had "materially breached the contract of insurance," the Journal-News reports.

Compton is scheduled to stand trial Dec. 4 in the criminal case. Data from his pacemaker may be presented as evidence, a judge ruled. An expert said the data refute Compton's claim that he packed some of his belongings in a suitcase when he saw the fire, threw them out of a window and then carried them to his car.

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The Journal-News is a media partner of WCPO.