Why yes, it happened in Florida. Why do you ask?
Apparently, if a person's corpse goes undiscovered too long, its decomposition gases can build up and cause organs to erupt violently. And then congealing body fluids can leak out everywhere.
If this person lived in the apartment above you, her corpse's fluids could run down into your abode. If these bodily juices spoil your apartment, it's very likely your insurance wouldn't cover it, because it all depends on what their definition of "explosion" is.
That's the situation Palm Beach County resident Judy Rodrigo finds herself in, six years after the little old lady upstairs combusted and left Rodrigo in a morass of bile and legal filings. Via the Broward/Palm Beach New Times:
The deceased elderly woman, who apparently passed away from natural causes, lived alone with her dogs. After she died, her body went undiscovered for two weeks before a noxious odor began to fill the adjacent units.
The undiscovered body went through its normal decaying process and eventually bloated to the point that the gasses inside the corpse built enough pressure that it caused its abdomen to burst. This released gases and fluids, which is what leaked down into Rodrigo's apartment.
Rodrigo sued State Farm, her insurer, looking for a reimbursement for repairs to clean the corpse's goop out of her unit. She gutted the apartment but "[e]ven then, she claimed, the odor lingered."
But this week, a county court agreed with State Farm that it wasn't on the hook. The company would have had to cover damages from an explosion, but that's not what happened:
"The plain meaning of the term 'explosion' does not include a decomposing body's cells explosively expanding, causing leakage of bodily fluids," they court stated, per the New York Post.
The court went on to say that Rodrigo failed to establish that the woman's corpse was "tantamount to an explosion."
Mental note: Spring for the top-floor unit.
[Photo credit: AP]