Hazardous site investigation leads to substantial subrogation recovery


A massive poultry caging system housing over 100,000 laying hens in Pennsylvania provided state-of-the-art equipment for managing a poultry house. But a catastrophic collapse led to a difficult and complicated investigation. Throughout the investigation, the team of investigators, insurance officials and Stutman Law attorneys worked to establish the cause of the collapse, while faced with pressure from local officials and the surrounding community to clean up the mess before the investigation was complete.

The cage system was constructed at the site from materials that were designed and manufactured abroad, and was the largest cage system of its kind to be installed in the U.S. It housed the chickens in a revolutionary coop comprised of five rows of cages stacked eight tiers high and approximately two hundred feet in length.
The health and safety of the investigators looking for the cause of the collapse was a major concern since the structural stability of the building was subject to further collapse. The structural engineer retained by Stutman Law concluded that the cage system was originally designed in a structurally unsound manner.

Stutman Law attorneys opposed the foreign manufacturer’s jurisdictional objections, which resulted in the manufacturer being subjected to jurisdiction in the U.S. Because of the Stutman Law’s diligence in handling this complex investigation, the firm settled the case for a significant but confidential amount before a single witness was deposed, thereby saving money and speeding the loss recovery for the insurer.

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