It is a sad commentary on some of us when you live in an urban dwelling, an apartment no less with other people in close proximity to you, and your death is unknown until your body decays to such a state that your organs explode and attracts the attention of the tenant below you only after the fluids from the ruptured corpse slimed their way into that lower apartment.
It would be an understatement with my lead in to this post to say that living alone, especially in old age, has its drawbacks. It’s understandable if you are an anthropophobic, a misanthrope or just generally anti-social. Such people tend to avoid contact with other humans but in so doing they may contribute to an ugly death that leaves them exiting life as part of a restoration effort to remove the odor their decayed body leaves behind, much like what you see in the picture below.
The deceased, an elderly woman living in a Keystone Condominium in an area of Palm Beach County just north of Miami, Florida, lived only with her dog (or dogs), who were sadly forced to live off of the decayed remains of the woman after her body organs exploded, until they were rescued.
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. SOURCE
The dark humor that can be derived from all of this is enhanced by the fact that the woman who lived below this lady, Judy Rodrigo, failed to convince her insurer, State Farm, that the odor that seeped into her apartment from the dead woman’s remains should be covered under the terms of her policy. A state court however sided with State Farm, stating that her policy “didn’t cover for an exploded body”.
“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.”
How corporate-minded of the Florida state court. Wouldn’t want all those insurance claims declaring damages from exploding corpses to diminish the revenue of a leading insurance company.
It’s not that State Farm wasn’t willing to compensate Ms. Rodrigo for the effected areas the body fluids impacted but Ms. Rodrigo argued that the payout was insufficient
According to a report in the NY Daily News, a contractor with State Farm inspected Rodrigo’s unit and approved an appraisal award. But Rodrigo rejected that award, saying she deserved full coverage for the damage.
Missing from this tragic tale is that very little was said about the human being who died alone in her apartment, ultimately leading to what became news fodder for the media. According to one source a neighbor, Nicholas Colangelo, said “the deceased woman lived alone and had no family. There was no foul play suspected,” he said. The woman died of old age. Colangelo says “she moved in after her last known family member, her mother, passed away in the same apartment.” Apparently Colangelo, Rodrigo and other neighbors never weighed this information when “the deceased” no longer made her presence known to them. The likelihood that she could have hurt herself and died never seem to phase her neighbors.