A state court jury in California awarded $450,000 last month to three family members, one of whom was seriously burned near Yosemite National Park in 2008 while filling the propane tank of a motorhome which had been leased in Carson. The lawsuit was brought by Dennis Domaille, his wife and daughter. Although the family’s damages were determined to be in the millions of dollars, the damages were reduced by the jury’s finding that the lessor, Cruise America Inc., was only 10% liable. Domaille, now 61, suffered second- and third-degree burns over 45% of his body when a fireball erupted while he was tending to a customer’s leased 2005 Four Winds 28A motorhome. The incident occurred in 2008, outside the family’s Tioga Gas Mart business located in Lee Vining.
The jury was asked by the court to determine if the motorhome had a design defect by having a refrigerator burner and ignition directly above the tank filler valve. One of the Defense lawyers contended that the recreational vehicle did not have such a problem and that Domaille, another Tioga Gas Mart employee, and AmeriGas, were the ones primarily at fault. AmeriGas provided the propane dispensing equipment at their business. Domaille, his wife and a daughter filed the products liability lawsuit against Cruise America and AmeriGas Inc. in January 2010. The daughter alleged negligent infliction of emotional distress. Her mother claimed loss of consortium in a separate claim.
The jury attributed 35% of the negligence causing Domaille’s injuries to AmeriGas. Another 30% was assigned to Domaille because of his actions with 25% assigned to a Tioga Gas Mart employee. AmeriGas settled with the Plaintiffs prior to trial. John Raders, a lawyer with Morgan, Lewis & Bocklus, a firm located in Los Angeles, represented the family and did a very good job in a most difficult products case.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.