The insured plaintiff, A & A, Inc., appeals from a jury verdict which relieved the defendant, Great Central Insurance Company, of liability for paying on a claim arising from a fire on the plaintiff's premises. The jury found that although the plaintiff had not been involved in setting the fire, the plaintiff had committed fraud in presenting its claim and thus vitiated the insurance company's obligation to reimburse the plaintiff for the loss. On appeal, the plaintiff argues that the trial court erred in submitting the issue of fraud to the jury. Great Central cross-appeals, arguing that it was denied a fair trial on its arson defense when the trial court excluded physical evidence recovered from the site of the fire.
For the reasons presented below, we believe that portions of the jury instructions should not have been submitted to the jury. We also [259 Ill.App.3d 75] hold that the trial court erroneously excluded the evidence removed from the premises after the fire. We reverse the trial court and remand this case for a new trial.