Explosion Cases

Taylor v. Centex Explosion/Fire

San Tan Valley, Arizona Date of Incident: February 18, 2012

A devastation explosion occurred that cause the death of Brett Taylor. Mr. Taylor sustained over 90% total burn surface and expired as a result of his injuries. Andler& Associates were retained in behalf of the Taylor family and a group inspection conducted by other experts was performed. Andler& Associates were the only experts to have determined the exact cause of the explosion as a result of a corroded gas line which allowed natural gas to migrate throughout the attic space which led to the explosion and fire along with the death of Brett Taylor.

Six other investigators disagreed with Mr. Andler and believed the explosion to have been the result of Mr. Taylor’s efforts to cause an incendiary fire. Extensive metallurgical work was performed on the gas pipeline along with significant calculation on the amount of gasoline needed to cause an explosion of this magnitude. It was determined that over 26 gallons weighing 165 pounds would have been required to create the vapor cloud necessary to cause the structure damage to the residence.

This fact in itself and seeing that there was no presence of gasoline containers, the odor of gasoline by first responders along with no irregular-shaped burn patterns from accelerant along the floor surfaces of the residence eliminated the cause of this fire to have been incendiary in origin.

After two and a half years of litigation, the defendants in the case settled with the satisfaction of the family knowing that their son was not an arsonist and that that the defendants were held liable for their actions.

Nelson v. Chevron Phillips

On February 9, 2014, Jason Nelson sustained horrific burns as a result of a natural gas explosion that occurred in the garage of his residence. Andler& Associates were retained shortly after the incident and determined that a gas line manufactured by Chevron Phillips product identified as Driscopipe 8000 pipe was determined during the course of this investigation to have been defective in manufacturing and as a result, caused natural gas to leak through a crack in the piping which then migrated to Mr. Nelson’s garage.

Mr. Nelson was in the garage at the time of the incident and sustained over 80% total burn surface, second and third degree burns.

This case quickly became resolved with a multi-million dollar settlement.

Case Number 1

A natural gas explosion occurred at the Quick Printer store causing severe injuries to four employees. it was determined that the cause of the explosion was traced a cracked pipe made of type 3306 polyethylene. Southwest Gas was sued as directly responsible for causing the explosion and later settled after a multi-million dollar suit was filed.

Case Number 2

An explosion at an automobile air bag manufacturing plant injured seven people, at least two critically. It was determined that sodium azide contributed to the explosion and injuries to the employees. This explosion occurred at the TRW plant in Mesa, Arizona.

Case Number 3

An apartment complex explosion left 3 year old identical twins Daniel and Sohue Discua with severe injuries as a result of a natural gas explosion caused by a natural gas leak ignited by electrical sources in a utility room. Mr. Andler was retained in behalf of the Discua family and a lawsuit was filed against Southwest Gas and settled for multiple millions of dollars.

Case Number 4

Kavu v. Electrolux Home Products. Two young boys had returned home after a day of school, proceeded to turn on a gas stove to warm up some soup as a snack. The stove caused a vapor explosion severely injuring both boys. A lawsuit was filed against the manufacturer of the stove, Electrolux, and Mr. Andler was retained as an origin and cause fire investigator in behalf of the family. A jury verdict came back and awarded the family 43.1 million dollars believed to be one of the largest personal injury verdicts on a fire case in the state of Arizona. Mr. Andler testified for two days on the stand providing his opinion as to the origin and cause of the explosion. Electrolux is the world’s largest manufacturer of appliances.

Case Number 5

An electrical explosion occurred at the Salt River Project Springerville facility causing over 8 million dollars in damages. Patrick Andler was retained in behalf of Salt River Project to investigate the loss and determined that the cause was accidental.

Case Number 6

A propane explosion had occurred at a residence in the state of Wyoming owned by the Taylor family. Both Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were severely burned as a result of this gas explosion. Mr. Andler was retained in behalf of the Gerry Spence Law Firm and Cunningham Law Firm. It was determined that the cause of the explosion was the result of an improperly installed gas riser that contributed to the leak of the propane vapors into the basement. After Mr. Andler’s deposition, the case settled for multiple millions of dollars.

Case Number 7

October 16, 2013, two young individuals that were in a house were severely burned as a result of a gas explosion. The couple was immediately brought to the Maricopa County Burn Unit where they were treated by Dr. Kevin Foster. Against all odds, a new product known as ReCell was utilized on both patients. This technology has made worldwide news because of the rapid recovery of both these patients who sustained over 50% burns of both their bodies. Although this case is still pending, the recovery of both patients made worldwide news as a result of the rapid recovery and their determination and courage.

These are just examples of some of the cases that Mr. Andler has investigated dealing with gas and fugitive vapor explosions throughout his over 30 year career

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