Defective Fire Extinguisher Injures Repair Worker

    Fire Suppression Expert WitnessThis case takes place in Indiana and involves the accidental discharge of a heavy duty fire extinguisher system in a commercial kitchen which caused severe injury. The plaintiff was a repair technician who worked with specialized fire suppression systems. In this particular case, the plaintiff was working with one of the valves in the system, when according to eyewitnesses the system spontaneously discharged, causing a range of devastating injuries to the plaintiff. The valve had been manufactured over thirty years ago, and it is alleged that the valve had a known flaw in its construction which is believed to have caused the sudden discharge of the system.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please discuss your experience working with these particular valves?

    Expert Witness Response E-007844

    My involvement with this particular system included leading the R&D effort that led to the development of system, product management responsibility while serving as marketing manager, and manufacturing responsibility while serving as operations manager of another company. I am the chair of the U.S. technical advisory group to ISO TC 21/SC 8 which is responsible for the international standards for these particular systems. I have also served as a member of the US delegation to the International Maritime Organization where, among other documents, I was a member of the group that wrote the IMO rules for the testing and approval of system alternates to the one in question. I am the author of the two peer reviewed, EPA funded technical reports that, among other things, address the alternatives to the system in use here. I am also currently a member of the National Fire Protection Agency’s Gaseous Fire Extinguishing Systems Technical Committee, which is responsible for several standards including  the Standard on these particular fire extinguishing systems.

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