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Verdicts: Paul Bodycomb v. Sta-Rite Industries

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Case Type: Product Liability
Settlement: $2,000,000.00
Case: Paul Bodycomb v. Sta-Rite Industries, Inc., No. 16564/97
Venue: Queens Supreme, NY
Settlement Date: 02-26-2001


  • Glenn D. Miller; Sivin, Miller & Roche LLP; Manhattan, NY



This action settled prior to jury selection. On 12/8/95, Pltf., a 32-year-old diesel mechanic employed by a truck rental company, was injured while using Deft.’s product, a Flotec 1500 utility pump since discontinued. The product is used to pump water out of flooded areas, such as a basement. Pltf. was using the pump to siphon gasoline out of a returned company diesel truck when the sparks from the pump ignited the gas vapors and caused an explosion.

Pltf. claimed that Deft. failed to place a warning label on its product to alert the user that it was not suitable for pumping flammable liquids. Pltf. further claimed that Deft.’s product looked similar to other pumps on the market that were capable of pumping flammables. Pltf. would have alleged that the only warning was in the manual. Deft. would have contended that there was a warning within the operator’s manual advising against using the product for pumping flammable liquids, and would have claimed that it was unable to foresee that someone would use its product for that purpose. Deft. also would have contended that Pltf. should have read the manual prior to operating the machine.


Bilateral third-degree burns to the legs and arms. Pltf. was hospitalized for 6 weeks, during which time he underwent three or four skin graft procedures. He was left with extensive scarring. Pltf. never returned to work as a diesel mechanic. He was retrained and is presently employed as a computer programmer.

Verdict Information: This action settled prior to jury selection for $2,000,000.

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