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Travis Rhoades and Marcella Spoto Successfully Guided a Designer and Manufacturer of a Parallel Positioning Combustion Control

Travis Rhoades and Marcella Spoto successfully guided a designer and manufacturer of a parallel positioning combustion control for industrial burners through 16 months of litigation in Bakersfield, CA, obtaining a dismissal of all claims prior to trial. Our client was sued in a third-party action by a contractor hired to upgrade a burner and safety systems in a thermal fluid heater used to regulate crude oil temperatures in an oil pipeline facility. The heater exploded during commissioning, causing $2 million in property damage, along with business interruption claims. The contractor blamed our client's burner control for the explosion, using a theory that software calculation errors caused a fuel-rich environment resulting in the explosion. We worked closely with our client and expert to dismantle the product defect opinions of both of the third-party plaintiff's mechanical engineering experts in motions to strike testimony and motions for summary judgment and adjudication, resulting in an immediate pretrial settlement funded virtually entirely by the defendant/third party-plaintiff.

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