ABC News’ John Schriffen reports:
A trial is set to begin later this month after an insurance company filed a lawsuit against a Texas man accused of intentionally driving his $1 million Bugatti car into a lagoon to collect on the insurance policy.
At the time of the crash three years ago, the car’s driver, Andy House, told police he dropped his phone while driving down a highway near Houston. House told police that when he looked up, he saw a pelican and swerved off the road and into a lagoon in Galveston, Texas
Nearby motorists, who were fascinated with the 2006 Bugatti Veyron, caught the entire accident on tape and posted it to YouTube.
“The Bugatti is one of the rarest cars in the world produced today,” General Manager Tim O’Hara of Bugatti Beverly Hills said. “What makes them so expensive is the technology involved in building it.”
Three weeks before the accident, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. said, it issued a $2.2 million policy on the Bugatti, one of a few hundred made. The insurance company is using the video as evidence to say House committed fraud because there was no pelican in that now-infamous video, according to the company.
The insurance company is also saying that House, who reportedly owns Performance Auto Sales, made no attempts to brake and he “intentionally drove the Bugatti into the lagoon to destroy the car and collect proceeds approximately twice the value of the car.”
Philadelphia Indemnity says it has an informant who alleges that House offered him cash to steal the car and then set it on fire, according to court documents.
House is counter-suing, saying the company owes him $2.2 million for damages to the rare car. He declined a request for an interview, but in a statement to ABC News, his attorney said, “we will not try our case in the media, but will rely on the facts and evidence admitted during the trial of the matter.”
ABC News legal analyst Dana Cole said, “This video is exhibit A. It is the critical evidence that the insurance company is relying on to void this insurance policy. It is extremely rare to have evidence like this.”