Fire and Explosion Litigation

A catastrophic fire or explosion involving your business or product sets off a series of necessary responses. Among the most vital is preserving evidence as part of the claims investigation and any resulting litigation. At Barnes & Thornburg, our litigators understand the complexities involved in litigating fire claims, including fire cause and origin analysis, product design and manufacture, and alternative fire cause determination.

Barnes & Thornburg attorneys have defended clients in hundreds of complex fire and explosion cases that involved extensive burn injuries and loss of life, multimillion-dollar property damage and business interruption losses, and severe environmental contamination.

We serve as regional or national coordinating counsel for several manufacturers, including the world’s largest manufacturer of home appliances, and have defended fire loss claims and lawsuits in federal and state courts in all 50 states and in Canada.

Product manufacturers must be aggressive in defending their products against litigation. When an event occurs, we react swiftly to:

  • Coordinate the fire loss and claims investigation
  • Participate in review of process safety management and root cause investigation
  • Take the appropriate legal action to preserve fire scenes and products until all parties have had the opportunity to inspect
  • Review fire loss estimates to ensure the claimed damages are not overstated
  • Assist clients with early, effective and economical resolution of fire loss claims via negotiation or alternative dispute resolution, when appropriate
  • Defend lawsuits alleging that a client’s product caused a fire through trial and appeal
  • Develop proactive approaches to help clients reduce future claims
  • Provide counseling to clients on the legal implications of product design and manufacturing decisions

We also have experience litigating matters related to these types of fires and explosions:

  • Chemical and industrial manufacturing
  • Natural and propane gas
  • Petroleum-based
  • Consumer appliance and electronic
  • Volatile chemical and combustible gas
  • Industrial equipment
  • Automotive components, mattresses, textiles, and other products and materials

Our attorneys know and have relationships with experts in all aspects of fire modeling, forensics, chemical and electrical engineering, materials and fire science, and toxicology.