LITIGATION DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR - Mid-Size Firm  ALM's Daily Report   2017 - 2016 - 2014

Another Win for WWHGD in Carbon Monoxide Case

Atlanta

Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial partners, Kevin Williams and Shawn Scott, received a defense verdict for a client that is a large, international manufacturer of generators in a case stemming from the death of four college students allegedly due to improper warning and labeling on a generator. The victims died from carbon monoxide poisoning in February of 2008 at a home just outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  

The students were in the process of fixing up a vacant home owned by one of the student’s grandmothers. The home had no electricity, and a portable generator was brought by one of the students. The student had previously used the generator on other occasions with his father. The generator was placed in a mud room on a ground level on the opposite side of the home. A door was propped open, as well. All four of the students were found dead the next morning due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The door was closed, too, likely as a result from wind. The Plaintiffs alleged that the deaths were due to improper warning and labeling on the generator as the warning label was not affixed to the top. The defense led by Mr. Williams claimed that the student knew how to properly use the generator and that the label would not have made a difference.

“This was all just an unfortunate circumstance,” said Mr. Williams. “The student knew the dangers, and placed the generator as far away from their beds as possible with the door propped open. A label would not have made any difference in the outcome.”

The Plaintiffs demanded $20 million from WWHGD’s client. The jury reached a unanimous, defense verdict in just one hour after a two week trial.

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