A federal judge recently rejected Kinsale Insurance Co.’s declaratory judgment action in which the insurer claimed that it was not obligated to defend an apartment complex in underlying litigation related to a fatal fire determined to be intentionally set.

In March 2017, George Hughes was in his bedroom in the Venetian Hills apartment complex in southwest Atlanta when a fire was determined to be intentionally set by a nonparty. George Hughes later died from smoke inhalation and burn injuries. In an underlying state action, his estate, headed by sister Marie Hughes, sued Venetian Hills for wrongful death for its alleged failure to maintain proper fire prevention measures, which led to the man’s death.