Fire and Explosion Litigation

For over 35 years, Frost Brown Todd has represented corporations and individuals connected with catastrophic, high-profile fires and explosions ranging from residential and hotel fires to industrial explosions and terrorist attacks. Below are examples of significant cases handled by Frost Brown Todd.  Additional information on these cases can be found by clicking here.

Carbide Industries industrial Furnace Explosion, Louisville, Kentucky: March 21, 2011
2 deaths; additional injuries

Avery Park Apartment Fire, Memphis, Tennessee: 2007
4 deaths, significant property damage

Sofa Super Store Fire, Charleston, South Carolina: June 18, 2007
9 deaths, significant property damage

Johnny Cash Residence Fire, Hendersonville, Tennessee: April 10, 2007
$2.8 million in property damage

Darby Mine Explosion, Holmes Mill, Kentucky: May 20, 2006
5 deaths, additional injuries

Rexnord Industrial Plant Explosion, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 2006
3 deaths, 10 alleged injuries, significant property damage

Mizpah Hotel Fire, Reno, Nevada: 2006
12 deaths

West Pharmaceutical Plant Explosion, Kinston, North Carolina: January 29, 2003
6 deaths; 38 injuries alleged

Ivel Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion, Ivel, Kentucky: November 8, 2004
9 injuries alleged

Comfort Inn Hotel Fire, Greenville, South Carolina: January 25, 2004
6 deaths; 15+ injuries alleged

CTA Acoustics Plant Explosion, Corbin, Kentucky: February 20, 2003
7 deaths; 40+ injuries alleged

Rhode Island Station Nightclub Fire, West Warwick, Rhode Island: February 20, 2003
100 deaths; 100+ injuries alleged

Oklahoma City Bombing Litigation: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: April 19, 1995
169 deaths; 500 + injuries

San Juan Dupont Plaza Hotel Fire, San Juan, Puerto Rico: December 31, 1986
97 deaths; numerous injuries

Happy Land Social Club Fire, New York, New York: March 23, 1990
87 deaths

Imperial Food Products, Hamlet, North Carolina: September 3, 1991
25 deaths

Meridian Plaza Fire, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: February 23-24, 1991
3 deaths; $1 billion in damages

MGM Grand Hotel Fire, Las Vegas, Nevada: November 21, 1980
85 deaths

Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire, Southgate, Kentucky: May 28, 1977
165 deaths

Air Canada Litigation, Covington, Kentucky: June 2, 1983
23 deaths

Howard Johnson/Holiday Inn Fire, Bowling Green, Kentucky: January 6, 1996
4 deaths; 16 injured

Hexane Gas Sewer Explosion Litigation, Louisville, Kentucky: February 13, 1981
$60 million in damage

Younkers Department Store, Des Moines, Iowa: November 5, 1978
10 deaths

Sixth Avenue Telephone Exchange, New York, New York: February 27, 1975
100+ injured

We have served as national and regional counsel in fire, explosion, and electrical contact matters on behalf of product manufacturers, service providers, and energy suppliers. We have significant experience in fire, explosion and electrical contact litigation involving a variety of products and services provided by our clients.

Our Fire and Explosion Group consists of veteran litigators. We have earned a national reputation as one of the foremost fire and explosion litigation firms through effective, efficient and innovative client service, working to limit or eliminate the risk of large damage awards from fire and explosions.

Choosing the Right Strategy

The Fire and Explosion Group strives to protect the integrity of a client's product, services, and reputation. We understand that in today's culture, any involvement or association with a tragic accident can threaten a company's core business. Fire and explosions are tragedies, which often result in severe injuries, loss of life and destruction of property. Subsequent lawsuits are emotionally charged and require a rapid, focused response to properly address these issues.

We have developed successful strategies to address unexpected and unique challenges posed by fire and explosion cases. These cases involve not only traditional legal issues and damages such as products liability, negligence, workers’ compensation, wrongful death, property damage and business interruption but also require knowledge of chemical and industrial processes, cause and origin, building design, fire suppression, smoke toxicity, criminal acts, OSHA and other regulatory agencies and the resulting media coverage.

Related Experience

Frost Brown Todd has served as national, regional, or local counsel in a variety of significant product liability matters:

  • National counsel for Fire Litigation for CNH America LLC, a manufacturer of construction and agricultural equipment
  • National coordinating counsel for manufacturers of lawn care chemicals, household appliances, hand and power tools and commercial playground equipment
  • Represented Bridgestone/Firestone in product liability cases filed arising from a national tire recall
  • Defended Noveon, Inc., a specialty chemicals manufacturer, in multiple personal injury lawsuits arising from alleged exposure to hydrogen chloride gas inadvertently released from Noveon’s facility
  • Represented defendants in numerous drug and medical device serial litigation matters, including the FenPhen diet drug litigation, latex glove litigation, OxyContin litigation, Rezulin litigation and mechanical heart valve litigation. We also represented manufacturers and distributors of a wide variety of other products, including materials handling equipment; farm and agricultural machinery; construction products and equipment; machine tools; commercial food preparation equipment; boilers, furnaces, fans and electronic air cleaners; propane delivery systems; and smoke detectors
  • Defended General Electric Company, a government contractor, in several class action lawsuits arising from alleged exposure to high levels of uranium and uranium contaminants at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky
  • Defeated certification of an alleged nationwide class action filed against ChemLawn by individuals claiming a variety of injuries from exposure to pesticides. Thereafter, acted as national counsel to defend individual actions evolving from the denial of class certification
  • Counsel for Westinghouse in cases stemming from alleged exposure to PCBs. We received summary judgment in all cases but one, which eventually settled for nuisance value

Serial Litigation Experience

  • Lead Paint Litigation (2000 – Continuing)
  • Breast Implant Litigation (1992 – Continuing)
  • Synthetic Stucco Litigation (1996 – Continuing)
  • Tobacco Litigation (1995 – 1999)
  • Orthopedic Bone Screw Litigation (1996 – 2000)
  • Appliance and Electric Device Serial Litigation (1992 – Continuing)
  • Vinyl Vapor Barrier Fire Litigation (1988 – 1995)

Representative Experience

Practice Highlights

  • Defends numerous underground mine fire and explosion cases, including most recently the Sago Mine in West Virginia
  • Serves as national fire counsel for manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment
  • Defended numerous makers of appliances and electronic devices against product-related claims for fire losses, property damage, and personal injuries
  • Defended manufacturers and distributors of propane delivery systems, MAPP gas cylinders, smoke detectors, boilers, furnaces, fans and electronic air cleaners
  • Defended companies and individuals in major catastrophic loss cases
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