Watson & Hinely v. Fisher Controls International, LLC
Sam Franklin and Melody Eagan defended Fisher Controls, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co., in this South Carolina product strict liability case arising from an LP gas explosion and fire that occurred in Hardeeville, South Carolina. The plaintiffs were two LP gas servicemen who were severely burned in the fire, as well as their respective wives who alleged loss of consortium claims. The two injured plaintiffs' undisputed medical expenses to date were over 2.68 million, and plaintiffs claimed over $1 million in past and future economic loss. Plaintiffs alleged that a Fisher filler hose adaptor valve installed on an LP gas tank was defective and unreasonably dangerous, resulting in the fire and plaintiffs' injuries. The case, pending in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina initially tried in Junr 2000 for seven days, but the jury was deadlocked 10 to 1 in favor of Fisher. The case retried in November 2006. On December 1, 2006, after six hours of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Fisher.