Gas Pump Overflows Causing Patron to Slip and Fall

Michael Talve, CEO

Written by
— Updated on December 20, 2017

This case involves a plaintiff who was injured while pumping gas. The plaintiff, a male, was pumping gas at a gas station. As he was pumping, he disengaged the trigger, but the gas continued to flow from the pump. Gas started to leak onto the ground, but the plaintiff was unable to get help. The plaintiff prepared to ask for help in the gas station’s shop, but slipped and fell on the leaked gas, sustaining a concussion.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What is the proper response for a gas pump after a gasoline tank becomes full, and what could affect proper functioning?

Expert Witness Response E-004489

I have designed fueling systems for postal facilities and telephone company facilities in the past. I can provide testimony as an expert with mechanical systems, fuel systems. I would want to inspect the fuel nozzle involved in this case to see if it was not properly maintained. If there is another hole or opening in the venturi tube that runs alongside the gas nozzle, then the automatic gas shut-off system will not work properly. When the end of the venturi pipe becomes submerged in the rising gas, it chokes off the air pressure that holds the nozzle handle open and shuts down the flow of gas. Many gas stations also have conveniently placed emergency shut-off buttons. I have extensive experience in the design and ergonomics of various fluid pumps, specifically, the mechanical system of gasoline and diesel storage, dispensing, piping, and equipment. I also have published articles on gas pumps and how they function.

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