“CSI” Testing Identifies Responsible Party and Results in $700,000 Recovery

Water caused substantial damage to a Raymour & Flanigan furniture store when a cap that had been affixed to an abandoned water pipe separated from the pipe and caused large quantities of water to enter the store. Stutman Law’s experts examined the failed cap and associated pipe fitting and determined that the cap had failed as a result of a corrosive process known as “graphitization.” Graphitization occurred in this case because the cap and associated pipe fitting were composed of dissimilar, incompatible metals.

After identifying the cause of the water damage incident, Stutman Law attorneys obtained building department records for the subject building and found that a plumber had removed and capped unspecified plumbing lines inside the store approximately ten years before the loss. Stutman Law’s experts subsequently performed metallurgical testing on the solder used to connect the failed cap and established that the solder was approximately ten years old. Faced with compelling circumstantial evidence against it, the plumbing contractor settled the case and paid $700,000.

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