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New Federal Missouri Case Discusses National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 921 Russell v. Whirlpool

The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri recently denied Whirlpool’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiff’s claims that a Whirlpool manufactured refrigerator caused a fire in Plaintiff’s home.  Whirlpool had moved for summary judgment on the basis that Plaintiff’s expert had failed to follow the “scientific method” required by NFPA 921.  The Court recognized that NFPA was considered a guide and, while some Courts had recognized it was useful in investigating fires, it was not the only acceptable methodology that could be employed in conducting an origin and cause investigation.  In making its ruling the Court also considered the opinion of Plaintiff’s other expert that had made a determination of the point of origin but could not rule out the outlet behind the refrigerator as potential competent ignition source. 

© Copyright 2022 Armstrong Teasdale LLP. All rights reserved National Law Review, Volume III, Number 207
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About this Author

Karrie Clinkinbeard, Fire, Electrical, Liability, Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale
Partner

Karrie Clinkinbeard is a member of the firm’s Fire and Electrical Liability practice group. She represents utility companies, businesses, product manufacturers and fireworks companies, among others, in matters involving fires, explosions, electrocution, chemical release, product failure and carbon monoxide poisoning. As one of an elite group of attorneys accredited as a Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), certified by the National Association of Fire Investigators, Karrie stays on the cutting edge of new developments in fire science. This CFEI certification is...

816-472-3175
Lynn Hursh, Trial, Products, Fire Electric, Liability, Attorney, Armstrong
Partner

Lynn Hursh serves as lead trial counsel in the defense of product manufacturers, service providers and energy suppliers in the gas and power industries. These matter primarily involve fires, explosions and toxic releases. Involved from the very beginning of an event, Lynn strategically addresses the unexpected and unique challenges posed by catastrophic events. He is knowledgeable in formalized fire and explosion investigation procedures, the requirements for the admissibility of expert testimony, and evidence spoliation prevention and accident scene preservation.

816-472-3106
Gerald A. King, Explosion, fire, Electrocution litigation, attorney, Armstrong
Partner

Jerry King practices in all aspects of explosion, fire, and electrocution litigation, including products liability, class actions, trials, and appeals. As a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), as certified by the National Certification Board of the National Association of Fire Investigators and recognized by National Fire Protection Association 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, Jerry’s knowledge and experience allows him to provide effective and efficient solutions to resolve even the most complex case. An authority on these issues, he is often sought after as...

816-472-3126
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