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Multimillion-Dollar Settlement Reached Against Designer and Installer of Sprinkler System

A leading wax and oil manufacturer incurred a multimillion-dollar loss stemming from a fire of undetermined cause that originated underneath one of its candle wax blenders located at its manufacturing facility. Consequently, the only valid theory to pursue concerned an exacerbation of damages claim based upon an allegation that the recently designed and installed extension to a pre-existing wet sprinkler system failed to properly extinguish or retard the growth of the fire. Despite the assertion of legal defenses that concerned: 1) the speculative nature of proposed expert testimony to prove this claim, and 2) the insured’s alleged comparative negligence associated with contributing to both the cause and spread of the fire, Brian Tetro, a partner in the Subrogation Department, negotiated a seven-figure settlement for his client from the designer and installer of the inadequate extension to the insured’s sprinkler system. Bill Doerler, counsel for the firm, assisted Brian in pursuing this matter on behalf of the subrogating carrier.

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