Wrongful Death Cases

Client v. Defendants (Kentucky) (2014)

Facts: Two weeks before the explosion that killed an adult and two children, a propane gas deliveryman from the gas company was at the home delivering propane when he was notified of a possible leak in the gas system. The driver admitted he did not inspect the leak. The case rose from negligence to a punitive damage case.

Settlement: The gas company and its insurer met with plaintiffs resulting in a very substantial confidential settlement in excess of $16 Million.

Estate v. Defendants (Iowa 2014)

Facts: The Beattie Law Firm represented the Estate of a woman who was killed in a collision with a semi-truck on a city street in West Des Moines. The case went through litigation. The defendant driver maintained that he was not at fault for the accident.

Settlement: The Beattie Law Firm obtained a highly confidential, significant settlement for the family.

Estate v. Defendants (Iowa 2014)

Facts: The Beattie Law Firm represented a young woman who lost her father when a vehicle pulled in front of his motorcycle on a Des Moines road. The defendant tried to blame the motorcycle driver for the accident.

Settlement: The cases were settled for policy limits of multiple six-figures against all insurance companies involved. 

Estate v. Defendant (Iowa 2014)

Facts: The Beattie Law Firm represented an Estate of a gentleman who was killed when he was a pedestrian on a rural road in Central Iowa.

Settlement: The case was settled for a confidential amount.

Clients v. Defendant (Iowa 2012)

Facts: The Beattie Law Firm represented the surviving spouse and children of a retired farmer who was tragically killed following an anhydrous ammonia exposure while spreading the fertilizer at his son’s farm. A hose ruptured, causing the farmer to try to escape the cloud by driving away. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful and eventually died due to his inhalation of anhydrous ammonia. The Beattie Law Firm handled the claim, asserting that the incident was preventable and that the leaders in the farming supply industry had long known about the issue concerning the use of tandem nurse tanks in the application process. Here, the emergency shutoff valve failed to shut off the flow of anhydrous and did not properly activate. The Beattie Law Firm presented to the defendant evidence that this problem had been previously discussed at a meeting of higher-ups in the agricultural industry more than two years prior to the event, yet nothing was done to prevent this type of incident from happening.

Settlement: The Beattie Law Firm obtained a substantial and highly confidential settlement for the family. The family is committed to alerting the farming community concerning the dangers associated with the application of anhydrous ammonia.”

Estate of Pennock v. Griffin Industries (Tenn. 2012) (Iowa 2011)

Facts: Mr. Pennock was tragically killed while loading his rig at a Griffin Industries loading bay. While checking the gauge on his own rig, a driver of another semi-trailer that was parked next to the Pennock truck pulled out, running over Mr. Pennock. Suit was brought by the sole heir of Mr. Pennock against Griffin Industries. The Beattie Law Firm successfully tried the case to a federal jury in Tennessee in November 2012.

Verdict: The jury returned a damage verdict of $750,000. Despite the damage verdict being reduced by some comparative fault assessed against Mr. Pennock, the final result obtained by the Beattie Law Firm was more than 7 times the offer to settle from defendant before trial.

Hicks vs DC Masonry, Inc., et al. (Nebraska 2010)

Facts: Wrongful death action stemming from an on the job electrocution. The case was based on the negligence of varies parties.

Settlement: The Beattie Law Firm obtained a substantial multiple seven figure settlement for the Client prior to trial.

Client v. Natural Gas Retailer (Iowa Federal Court 2008)

Facts: A 72 year old retired principal died in a natural gas explosion. The case was based on a negligent failure to warn, including the need to have gas detectors installed inside our clients’ home. The gas company defended the case on the basis that this was not a natural gas explosion.

Settlement$900,000.00 was reached five days before the beginning of trial.

Estate v. Defendants (Iowa 2008)

Facts: The young man was killed when hexane gas leaked at a major soybean processing facility. Two other men were burned. The Beattie Law Firm represented the estate and the two burn victims in a very complicated and extensive litigation.

Settlement: The case settled in its entirety the second week of trial in excess of $6 Million from the various defendants.

Client v. Defendant (Iowa 2008)

Facts: An elderly couple, ages 81 and 86, were involved in an automobile collision with a semi-truck driver and another vehicle. One of our client’s died at the scene of the collision. The other sustained injuries in the collision.

Settlement: The Beattie Law Firm secured a $600,000 settlement on behalf of its clients prior to filing a lawsuit.

Gossage v. Retailer, et. al. (Iowa 2008)

Facts: Mr. Gossage was an employee of a hog lot in Iowa. A propane operated gas washer was installed inside of a break room without adequate ventilation. A buildup of carbon monoxide killed Mr. Gossage. The lawsuit was filed against the appliance manufacturer and the gas retailer for negligent inspection and negligent failure to warn.

SettlementSettlements in total in excess of $800,000+ were obtained for the client of The Beattie Law Firm shortly before the start of trial. 

Estate v. Propane Retailer, et. al. (Florida 2008)

Facts: A married couple returned to their winter home in Florida. A propane leak resulted in an explosion, killing the couple. The case against the propane retailer and appliance manufacturers was based on a negligent failure to warn, including the need to have gas detectors installed inside our clients’ homes, and negligent testing and inspection.

Settlement$800,000 reached prior to the start of trial.

Estate of Ryan v. Defendants (Iowa 2006)

Facts: Mr. Ryan lost his life, and another co-worker was severely and permanently injured when an anhydrous ammonia tank ruptured. The tank ruptured due to a defective weld, and it had been inadequately inspected over the years. Plaintiffs sued the various defendants on a failure to warn theory.

Verdict: The jury returned a verdict of $9.6 Million, including nearly $4 Million for the wrongful death claim.

Client v. Propane Retailer (Iowa 2006)

Facts: The Beattie Law Firm client was killed in a propane explosion in Harrison County. The case was based on negligent failure to warn, including the failure to warn about gas detectors.

Settlement: The Beattie Law Firm obtained a confidential six-figure settlement for the Client.

Client v. Natural Gas Retailer (Iowa Court 2004)

Facts: An elderly retired space engineer died in a natural gas explosion. The case was based on a negligent failure to warn, including the need to have gas detectors installed inside our clients’ home. The gas company defended the case on the basis that this was not a natural gas explosion.

Settlement: A substantial confidential settlement was reached before the beginning of trial.

Devore v. Retailer, et. al. (Iowa 2004)

Facts: A 17 year old youth died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning while camping. A propane heater was defective, resulting in the release of excessive amounts of carbon monoxide. Defendants failed to warn users of its product the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in the camping setting.

SettlementSettlements in excess of $400,000+ were obtained for the client of The Beattie Law Firm.

Freeland v. Ferrellgas (Michigan 2003 Arbitration)

Facts: A retired couple was burned in a propane gas explosion in Michigan. The husband died as a result of the burns received in the explosion. The wife survived, but she sustained critical burns. The case was based on negligent failure to warn about the defects of odorized propane as well as the retailer’s failure to respond to numerous calls by the Freelands regarding gas leaks.

Arbitration: The case was tried in state ordered binding arbitration resulting in a $8,300,000 arbitration award.

Countryman, et. al. v. Iowa Double Circle, et. al. (Iowa 2002 Trial)

Facts: Seven people were killed, and many others were seriously injured during a family gathering in Richland, Iowa. The home that was the gathering place for the family and friends exploded due to the accumulation of propane gas. The case was based on the negligent failure to warn concerning the dangers of propane and the reasonable measures to take to ameliorate those dangers.

Settlement: Settlement was reached against the propane retailer for the policy limits of $5,000,000 and with the homeowner for $1,300,000. The wholesalers and pipeline settled for a significant confidential amount prior to the start of trial. Trial began against Lennox, the appliance manufacturer, before the case was settled for a substantial confidential amount during voir dire. The press reported total settlements of approximately $17,000,000.

In addition the District Court dismissed during the case a wholesaler based upon the limited liability statute. This was appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court which resulted in a reversal finding that a managing partner to a limited liability corporation can be personally liable.

Rierson v. PST, Inc. (Iowa 1999)

Facts: Mr. Rierson was driving on Highway 65 near Altoona, Iowa when Defendant’s employee, operating a semi-truck, pulled into Mr. Rierson’s lane of travel. Mr. Rierson was life flighted to Methodist Hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe closed head injury. Sadly, Mr. Rierson never recovered and eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Settlement: The Beattie Law Firm obtained a $1,500,000.00 for its client.

Lawson v. Coop, et. al. (Minn 1998)

Facts: Mrs. Lawson was killed in her sleep from a propane gas explosion. The case against the retailer was brought based on negligent failure to warn concerning the dangers of odorized propane. The warning odor will not warn a sleeping person.

Settlement: The Beattie Law Firm obtained a significant confidential settlement for Mr. Lawson.

Clients v. Defendant (Iowa 2012)

Facts: The Beattie Law Firm represented the surviving spouse and children of a retired farmer who was tragically killed following an anhydrous ammonia exposure while spreading the fertilizer at his son’s farm. A hose ruptured, causing the farmer to try to escape the cloud by driving away. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful and eventually died due to his inhalation of anhydrous ammonia. The Beattie Law Firm handled the claim, asserting that the incident was preventable and that the leaders in the farming supply industry had long known about the issue concerning the use of tandem nurse tanks in the application process. Here, the emergency shutoff valve failed to shut off the flow of anhydrous and did not properly activate. The Beattie Law Firm presented to the defendant evidence that this problem had been previously discussed at a meeting of higher-ups in the agricultural industry more than two years prior to the event, yet nothing was done to prevent this type of incident from happening.

Settlement: The Beattie Law Firm obtained a substantial and highly confidential settlement for the family. The family is committed to alerting the farming community concerning the dangers associated with the application of anhydrous ammonia.”