A large commercial warehouse was destroyed by one of the largest fires in the city’s history. After several years of litigation and discovery, Stutman Law established that the fire was caused by a defective metal halide lamp that endured what is known in the lighting industry as a “non-passive end of life failure.” Through discovery, Stutman Law established that metal halide lamp manufacturers have known about the explosive nature of metal halide lamps since the 1970’s and that technology for the development of explosion proof bulbs had existed since the early 1990’s. With this evidence Stutman Law was able to establish that the metal halide lamp which caused the fire was defective and unreasonably dangerous because it was not explosion proof and was not accompanied by sufficient warnings regarding its propensity to explode and cause fires.
Having established the cause of the fire, the Stutman Firm then focused on fire spread issues to maximize its client’s recovery. Through the depositions of the first-responding firefighters, Stutman Law established that the first-responders were unable to suppress the fire in its incipient stages because the warehouse aisles had been blocked by double-stacked pallets of computer equipment in corrugated cartons secured with shrink wrap. Expert testimony also established that the commercial tenant responsible for storing the computers and blocking the area of origin had violated the Statewide Fire Prevention Code. As a result, Stutman Law successfully established that the commercial tenant inside the warehouse was negligent and contributed to the development and spread of the fire.
The efforts of Stutman Law in attributing liability for the cause and spread of the fire yielded a substantial seven figure recovery for its client.