Miles, Sears & Eanni attorney Richard Watters recently reached a $3 million settlement for a personal injury victim in a product liability case – Luis Gutierrez v. Flame Engineering, Inc.
Plaintiff Luis Gutierrez, a ranch foreman, was operating a tractor and pulling a 2010 Poultry House Flame Sanitizer – essentially a large sled holding a 124-gallon propane tank and producing ground-level flames at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The Flame Sanitizer was designed and manufactured by defendant Flame Engineering, Inc., and intended to sanitize chicken houses holding as many as 30,000 chickens.
While driving through the chicken house, Mr. Gutierrez heard a hissing sound from behind him, and looked to see a white liquid mist. The mist quickly erupted into flame, so he hit the red (master) control switch located beside him, hoping to turn the machine off. Instead, the flames grew dramatically to hit the ceiling, and suddenly he was on fire.
Plaintiffs’ counsel were able to prove that the fire was caused by a catastrophic failure of the propane system of the Flame Engineering sanitizer machine.
Plaintiff Gutierrez suffered severe partial-thickness burns to his neck, chest, back and arms, leaving him in sustained pain and greatly limiting his ability to work.
The parties reached a $3 million settlement on September 15, 2015.