PHILADELPHIA – Defense counsel for one of a group of companies who are accused of manufacturing a faulty natural gas system for a trash truck which exploded and left a man with third-degree burns have unanimously denied the claims levied against it.
On June 29, defense counsel Lawrence M. Silverman filed an answer on behalf of defendant All Hose, Inc. to the complaint filed by Jerry Ayala-Santiago versus Republic Services, Inc. of Philadelphia, Motion Industries, Inc. of Sharon Hill, Agility Fuel Solutions, LLC and Agility Fuel Solutions Holdings, Inc. of Wilmington, Del., Mack Trucks, Inc. of Macungie, The Heil Co. of Chattanooga, Tenn., Kongsberg Actuation Systems II of Suffield, Conn. and All Hose, Inc. of East Longmeadow, Mass.
Silverman categorically denied Ayala-Santiago’s claims, and argued the plaintiff’s injuries were due to his own negligence and through no fault of the defendants.
“The second amended complaint fails to state a claim against answering defendant upon which relief may be granted. The accident, injuries and damages alleged in the amended complaint were caused by the sole negligence of the plaintiff. Plaintiff’s claims are barred and/or limited by operation of the applicable Comparative Negligence law. The injuries and damages allegedly sustained by plaintiff were caused by the negligence of third-persons over whom answering defendant exercised no supervision, direction or control and were not caused or contributed to by any negligence or breach of duty on the part of answering defendant,” Silverman said.
Silverman said “the injuries and damages allegedly sustained by plaintiff were caused by the negligence of third-persons over whom answering defendant exercised no supervision, direction or control and were not caused or contributed to by any negligence or breach of duty on the part of answering defendant.”
“Plaintiff has failed to join necessary and indispensable parties who are potentially responsible to plaintiff,” Silverman stated, among other arguments. Silverman requested judgment be entered in his client’s favor, but if liability is imposed upon All Hose, Inc., it is requested that judgment be entered against the co-defendants for contribution or indemnity, per the Fair Share Act.
Ayala-Santiago initially filed suit against the defendants on Feb. 14 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.
“On June 22, 2016, [Jerry] Ayala-Santiago was at work, getting ready to wash a Republic Services trash truck, when he was severely burned as a result of a violent explosion that was caused by a failure of a component part of the compressed natural gas system attached to the truck. As a result of the fire, Mr. Ayala-Santiago suffered third-degree burns to his face, arms and lower extremities. The escaping fugitive gas that caused the explosion was the result of a product failure and created an unreasonably dangerous condition for those who came into contact with the trash truck,” the lawsuit says.
“As fully developed herein, defendants were aware of the deficiency in the product prior to the explosion, yet failed to properly design, manufacture, maintain, inspect, or replace the hose that permitted the fugitive gas to escape. Defendants also failed to warn those using the product of the danger posed. The defendants’ outrageous failures, as set forth herein, were a factual cause of the severe and permanent injuries suffered by [Jerry] Ayala-Santiago,” the suit continues.
The plaintiff says the defendants caused his injuries, of “serious, severe and disabling injuries including, but not limited to, serious burns, scarring, incapacity, psychiatric and emotional injuries, and other injuries the full extent of which are not yet known, and some or all of which may be permanent in nature.”
For multiple counts of intentional misrepresentation, negligence, strict liability, the plaintiffs are seeking damages, jointly and severally, compensatory and punitive damages in excess of the arbitration limits in effect in Philadelphia County, at the time this cause of action was commenced.
The plaintiff is represented by Jason S. Weiss and Steven G. Wigrizer of Wapner Newman Wigrizer Brecher & Miller, in Philadelphia.
The defendants are represented by Michael G. Rausch and Gerald J. Valentini of Deasey Mahoney & Valentini; Michael B. Pullano, Joseph Goldberg and Meghan E. Campbell of Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby; Bunker of Mancheski & Bunker; Keith D. Heinold of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin; Gary R. Gremminger and Matthew J. McColgan of German Gallagher & Murtaugh; Daniel A. Baylson and Silverman of Litchfield Cavo, in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, N.J., J. Colin Schwartz and Robert J. Balch of Post & Schell in Philadelphia and Allentown; plus Christopher C. Mauro of Camacho Mauro Mulholland, in New York, N.Y.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170203845
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at firstname.lastname@example.org