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Subrogation Cases


Product Liability Case

The consumer expectation standard, which had been removed from the Ohio Products Liability Act in 2005, could not be relied on by the purchaser of a space heater to support his design defect claim, which was based solely on circumstantial evidence, a federal court in Ohio ruled. However, the homeowner did provide sufficient circumstantial evidence of a manufacturing defect to overcome the manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment on this count. The court also determined that the testimony offered by the homeowner’s fire origin expert testimony was reliable, despite the manufacturer’s claim that the expert had not followed industry standards applicable to fire investigations (Erie Insurance Co. v. Sunbeam Products, Inc., January 8, 2015, Abel, M.). To read more about this products liability case, click here.

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Construction Subrogation Case | Six-Figure Jury Verdict

An insured had a grain system installed at their ranch. A company that supposedly had considerable experience in constructing such systems developed this grain storage and elevator system for the insured. Design engineering, construction, and installation of this new system was supposed to include the professional services and quality guarantee one would expect from an engineering firm, in addition to what regulatory bodies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), require of a structure.

On an early spring day, the grain elevator portion of the system collapsed and caused damage to other parts of the system. The engineer tried to blame high winds on the cause of the grain elevator collapse but maximum winds of 50 mph were recorded and the grain system was constructed to withstand 70 mph winds. All of this happened while the installing company was dispatched to the insured’s ranch to repair a supposed cable that was broken and previously reported to the company.

Keis George received the file only thirty-five days before the statute of limitations expired. Keis George collaborated with a Columbus Ohio law firm to recover the insureds losses with haste. Our Subrogation Team discovered the engineering company failed to design and construct the grain system within industry standards and regulations. The system was not constructed in a competent and skillful manner. Keis George took the engineering company and the contractor to Court. During the discovery period, the installer, who did not have insurance, ceased doing business and had no assets to collect. Despite threats from the engineer’s insurance carrier that all work was excluded from coverage, and that it would file a declaratory judgment action if the jury found against its client, Keis George proceeded to Trial. After a one-week trial, Keis George obtained a six-figure jury verdict for its client. The opposing carrier did not file the declaratory judgment action and did not appeal the verdict.

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Propane Explosion Case | 97% damages recovered

An insured of a major insurance company complained to their propane provider that they smelled some type of gas. The propane company provides the insured with a source of heat for the home. While the propane provider noted the insured was low on fuel and scheduled a delivery, the propane provider failed to advise the insured to vacate the residential premises for their own safety and failed again to send a qualified representative to the home immediately. One day after the insureds complaint to the propane provider, a fire explosion occurred within the home. The insured was rushed to the hospital and the Attorneys of Keis George LLP got to work. Our Fire and Explosion Subrogation Team, in partnership with our Team of Experts, utilized our Early Involvement Strategy and discovered the propane gas leak originated in the line between the home and the propane tank. Though six different parties were investigated, our Subrogation Team determined a vendor of the propane provider was at fault having been the last to service the tank.

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