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Ricki Lake Sued -- You Burned Down My Beach House!

6/11/2011 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

What does Ricki Lake have in common with the Exxon Valdez? Each is responsible for a super-destructive, wildly expensive oil spill ... allegedly.

Ricki Lake Lawsuit

Lake is being sued for allegedly making a HUGE mistake with some flammable heating oil ... and causing the fire that burned down the Malibu beach house she was renting back in 2010.

According to the lawsuit filed by the owner of the home ...  Lake was refilling a portable space heater when she spilled the oil on the hot heating coils -- and the oil burst into flames. The fire quickly ripped through the entire property. 
Ricki Lake
In the lawsuit, filed Monday in L.A. County Superior Court, the owner, Hovsep Kousouyan, claims Lake spoke with emergency personnel who responded to the fire -- and she admitted the whole thing was her fault.

Kousouyan says his beach house was completely destroyed in the blaze -- and wants Lake to pay for all of the damages ... which could be in the millions.

Calls to Lake's rep have not been returned.


82 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

Bunny    

First, he doesn't have to use his insurance, but duh.

Second, Rikki is responsible, no question. Her insurance pays, then promptly drops her. She goes back to work to pay for it. Case closed. Why is there a problem here?

Third and more interesting, an oil space heater in Malibu? Are you effing serious? No 'foolproof' gas fireplace? Not even a self contained oil heater? What kind of dump is she renting? Dood. Srsly.

1199 days ago
32.

D-INCARNATION    

The insurance adjusters could have a field day with that house, maby he don't even want to go there with them, just send Riki the bill.

1199 days ago
33.

lala    

Well gee a space heater you need to fill with oil.. sounds like a brilliant idea...not!

1199 days ago
34.

dd    

No insurance on a Malibu home? What an idiot.

1199 days ago
35.

LohanCloveOil    

go rikki! go rikki! go rikki!

1199 days ago
36.

Alexa    

Preposterous! If the owner doesn't have house insurance that's his tough luck.

1199 days ago
37.

Whatever    

it doesn't matter who has renter's insurance and who does not. It doesn't matter who does what in your house or this house. Your homeowners insurance company will manage an issue like fire or damage or destruction, subrogate against/with any other insurance policies involved, maybe even Lake's personal residence property insurance for any home she owns if she is found at fault. I do not believe this upset homeowner had grounds for a suit. Being mad isn't grounds. If he has no insurance and is a douchebag idiot, then he can sue for recovery of damages.

1199 days ago
38.

Whatever    

And to justsaying, of course you can put two insurance policies on a house: homeowners policy paid by the homeowner, and renters insurance paid by the renter. That would actually have been ideal in this situation. And once again, it doesn't matter what the heating situation is like in the house. The master insurance policy company for this home will investigate, sort it out, sue for restitution of its payout if necessary and subrogate against any other policies. You can all move on now.

1199 days ago
39.

Susie    

1. Home Owners must have insurance. If they rent the place out the insurance covers the dwelling, inside and out. But not personal belongings.
2. If someone rents a home, if the landlord requires it they have to get renters insurance for their personal belongings, and also any accidents caused by the renter, ie drowning in pool, someone falls and breaks an arm, etc. This also covers all the renters personal belongings.
3. The main case is going to be did the landlord furnish the oil space heater? Did the home have any other heater? Ie was Ricky made to go out and buy space heaters to keep warm. What kind of condition was this place in? (obviously pretty bad, and why Ricky would rent it who knows) Otherwise was a little oil fire a huge disaster because Ricky panic'd or because the house was so dried up it caught fire too quickly for her or even the fire department to do anything about it?

So bottom line is, did Rickys actions cause the fire? Did she have to use the space heater? And oil, not electric? Looks like she was camping in an empty shack. So conditions of home, the heating available or furnished, the lease, and the insurances.
AT this point, everyone panics when something catches fire. Simply throwing a dry ingredient on the fire would have stopped it, but she panic'd and ran outside letting it take over.

Will be fun to see who has to end up paying for this. The landlord is also a "Habib" and we know they do not like to follow the rules and laws of our country.

1199 days ago
40.

niles    

What a dump!

1199 days ago
41.

Michelle    

If the homeowner makes a claim on his insurance policy, he will either be dropped by the insurance company or have his premiums increase.

If you know who is responsible for burning your house down, then that person is legally liable for the repair costs. If you do not know who caused the damage to your property, then the insurance company will cover it and your premiums will increase.

In this case, Ricki Lake admitted fault and she will be rightfully sued by either the insurance company or the homeowner.

For everyone who thinks the homeowner is responsible for a tenants actions, I'd love to see your reaction when someone carelessly burns your house to the ground. From what I've been reading here, everyone would be happily opening their wallets to pay higher insurance premiums, rather than holding the guilty party responsible. Very strange.

Maybe the reason everyone believes the owner should pay is because the guilty party is a celebrity, it certainly looks that way by all the commenters rushing to the celebrities defense.

1199 days ago
42.

david    

No insurance......etc.....being a current landlord for tons of years it is her fault, she is stupid.....they do make electric space heaters. I don't know about CA but up here in Oregon property owners must furnish "heat".....Did she even have a lease????

1199 days ago
43.

Kabala    

Nobody's perfect...

1199 days ago
44.

Surfer Gal    

Had she been drinking when she refilled the oil tank? And would that have any bearing on the lawsuit?

1199 days ago
45.

MP    

Why sue her, it was an accident. Isn't this what insurance is for?

1198 days ago
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