Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Plaintiff's case alleging faulty gas system in trash truck explosion is scheduled for trial

State Court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Sep 4, 2019


PHILADELPHIA – The case of a man who has accused a group of companies of manufacturing and distributing a faulty natural gas system for a trash truck which exploded has now been listed for trial next spring.

According to court records dated July 12, plaintiff Jerry Ayala-Santiago’s action against a number of corporate defendants in this matter has been slated for trial on May 4, 2020, before Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Shelley Robins-New.

Ayala-Santiago initially filed suit against 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. on Feb. 14, 2017, in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

(Mack Trucks, Inc. was dismissed as a defendant on March 27.)

“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 said.

“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 continued.

The plaintiff said 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.”

On June 29, 2017, defense counsel Lawrence M. Silverman filed an answer on behalf of defendant All Hose, Inc. to the complaint filed, denying 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,” 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.”

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.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170203845

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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Agility Fuel Systems Mack Trucks Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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