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RE: [infoguys-list] (no subject)

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  • The Rancher
    It seems to me that the defense is reaching .... the questions to ask are, 1) Would a legal tank have leaked if it had been certifiable under existing law
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 27, 2004
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      It seems to me that the defense is reaching .... the questions to ask are,
      1) Would a legal tank have leaked if it had been certifiable under existing
      law (and practice) [beyond the "normal" leak possible for a lose connection]
      and if the "lose connection" is pinpointed, then again we ask would normal
      tightening (as suggested by father in law) have resulted in a valve rupture?
      While the overall circumstances may be mitigated by the stupidity of Fred
      (there is no enforceable law against stupidity) his actions are secondary
      causes that derive directly from the proximate cause, i.e. the bad tank


      _____

      From: Jurydoctor@... [mailto:Jurydoctor@...]
      Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 9:36 AM
      To: legalinvestigation@yahoogroups.com; attorney-to-expert@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com;
      Attorney-InformationExchange@yahoogroups.com; LawSource@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [infoguys-list] (no subject)


      Names have been changed. Need your opinions ASAP. thanks in advance. Have
      fun!
      Amy


      Fred and Ginger . had been married for several years. Ginger had three
      children, a son, fourteen and twins, (a boy and a girl) aged eleven from a
      previous relationship and marriage. Fred, Ginger and all three of the
      children
      lived together.

      In the fall and winter of 2001-2002, Fred had built a bedroom in an
      unfinished basement for the oldest boy so that he could have his own room
      and area.
      The room was basically a box built within the unfinished basement. The room
      was
      heated with an LP gas heater and Fred had been utilizing 20 lb. LP gas
      cylinders mounted within the basement and feeding LP gas to the wall heater
      in the
      oldest child's bedroom. Because of the frequency with which the smaller
      tanks
      were used up during the winter months, Eddie wanted to obtain a 100 lb.
      tank.
      A friend of his was cleaning out some sheds on a piece of property he rented

      and told Fred there was a 100 lb. cylinder in one of the sheds and Fred
      could
      have it if he wanted it.

      Fred obtained the cylinder and took it to Shoppette, a convenience store
      which had a propane tank filling facility provided by Blo Gas, Inc.

      State law and federal regulations require that propane tanks be recertified
      within twelve years after the date of manufacture and then every five years
      thereafter. Although the tank which Fred had obtained looked fine, it was
      manufactured in 1949 and had never been recertified. Additionally, the
      valve on the
      tank had been manufactured I 1952 and although there are no state or federal

      regulations mandating the replacement of valves on LP tanks, the
      manufacturer
      of the valve recommends that they be replaced after ten years.

      The clerk at shopette (who had been trained and certified to fill propane
      tanks by Blo) failed to inspect the tank and note that it was out of
      certification. The clerk filled the tank with 100 lbs. of propane on the
      afternoon of
      February 18, 2002, after which Fred and a friend took the tank to the home
      and
      placed it in the basement. Later that evening, Fred hooked the propane tank
      up
      to the gas line leading to the wall heater in his stepson's room, but when
      he
      turned the handle to allowed gas to flow out of the tank, he noted there was
      a
      small leak around the shaft of the valve. Fred closed the valve and called
      his father who was experienced in installing LP tanks and asked if there was

      anything he could do about the leak. Fred's father told him to tighten the
      nut
      at the base of the valve.

      While Fred was attempting to tighten the nut at the base of the valve, the
      pressure relief valve (located on the side of the LP gas valve assembly and
      designed through a spring-loaded valve to allow excess pressure to escape)
      popped
      off, which allowed the LP gas to escape at a very high rate. Ginger heard
      the
      loud roaring noise of the LP gas escaping through the open pressure relief
      valve and ran downstairs. She asked what had happened and Fred told her
      that
      the pressure relief spring and cap had "popped off" at which point Ginger
      said,
      "We need to open the doors to let the gas escape."

      As FRed and Ginger opened the doors to the basement, the gas reached an
      ignition source (probably the hot water heater which was located in the
      unfinished
      area of the basement) and an explosion occurred. Fred and Ginger were
      thrown
      out into the yard, with FREd suffering a concussion and Ginger suffering a
      ruptured spleen. The explosion and ensuing fire claimed the lives of all
      three
      of the children who were in their bed rooms in the house.

      Both the owner of Shoppette and the managers and safety directors of Blo
      Gas
      have admitted that it was illegal to fill the LP gas tank. They contend
      however, that Fred was the sole cause of the explosion and death of the
      children
      by virtue of having brought the LP gas tank into an enclosed area. Their
      position is that Fred must have simply unscrewed the cap holding the
      pressure
      relief valve in, allowing all of the gas to escape. There is no evidence of
      Fred
      having disturbed the pressure relief valve and cap, as there is no damage to

      the threads on the valve where the pressure relief valve cap was located
      and
      crimped onto the valve, and additionally, even on the evening of the
      explosion
      in an interview given to the Fire Marshall, Fred maintained that the cap and

      spring "just popped out". There is no doubt that the gas escaped as a
      result
      of the pressure relief cap and valve being off of the tank as the valve
      itself was fused in the "closed" position in the fire. The pressure relief
      valve
      mechanism and the cap designed to hold it in were never found after the
      fire.

      The Defense contends that for some reason, Fred too a pipe wrench or pliers
      and unscrewed the cap holding the pressure relief valve in and , thus
      allowing
      all of the gas to escape.



      1. Who is responsible for the deaths of the three children?

      2. Given the fact that Ginger cannot have any other children, what do you
      feel represents fair and adequate compensation for the full value of the
      life of
      her three children?

      3. Although Fred and Ginger have no children, they are still married and
      living together. Would that fact in any way affect your opinion? If so,
      how?

      4. Would it affect any of your opinions if it came into evidence that at
      the
      emergency room on a routine toxicology screen performed on all ER trauma
      patients, Fred tested positive for amphetamines and marijuana although there
      is no
      evidence of impairment.

      5. Would the fact that Ginger knew the propane tank was in an enclosed
      area
      lead you to believe that she was responsible for the loss of her children?


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