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– Product Liability – Failure to warn – Failure to warn of potential explosion risk on compressor – Plaintiff suffered third degree burns over his upper extremities and torso

USDC, District of Southern Georgia

In this negligence matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant compressor manufacturer was negligent in failing to warn about the explosion danger in its compressors. As the plaintiff was repairing the compressor, it exploded, causing him to suffer third degree burns. The defendant denied any liability, and argued that there were proper warnings regarding the risk of a thermal venting issue. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was not properly trained, and should not have undertaken the repair.

The male plaintiff, employed as repairman, responded to a service call on July 22, ________ for a non-functioning walk in cooler at a sandwich shop. The plaintiff determined that the cooler’s compressor, manufactured by the defendant, had a burnt wire. The plaintiff installed a factory-made thermal protector, put the cover back on the compressor, and turned the breaker back on to restore power to the cooler. When he did so, the compressor exploded on the plaintiff, causing him to suffer third degree burns over both upper extremities and his shoulders. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant, alleging that it was negligent in failing to warn of the potential explosion risk related to its compressor.

The defendant denied liability and maintained that the on-line manual for the compressor contained a warning regarding the thermal venting risk that resulted in the explosion. The defendant maintained that its manual warned that this type of repair should not be undertaken by anyone who was not professionally trained. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was negligent because he was not professionally trained, and should not have undertaken the repair. His own negligence was the sole cause of his injuries and damages.

The matter proceeded to trial.At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated and determined that while the defendant failed to communicate the warning to the plaintiff, it was not causally liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. A verdict in favor of the defendant was entered.

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