Manufacturer of heat gun pays Stutman Law even though Insured’s employee left gun in “on” position before taking a break

Heat guns are industrial strength dryers that blow 1,000 degree air. An employee at a food distributorship was assigned to use a heat gun to shrink wrap some goods to a pallet. When she plugged in the heat gun, it would not operate, despite her moving the slide switch from the off position to the on position several times. Presuming the heat gun to be broken, the employee then placed it down on top of the pallet, with the switch still in the on position and went on a break. The heat gun, thereafter, began to operate, causing the fire. The seller of the heat gun defended the case by arguing that the heat gun would not simply turn on by itself, and therefore the employee must have put the heat gun down on the pallet while it was still running and blowing hot air. Expert testing established that the inexpensive slide switch used in this heat gun would wear out quickly, potentially resulting in the type of intermittent operation which caused the fire. Despite taking a “no pay” position throughout the litigation, the defendant ultimately paid Stutman Law’s carrier client $1,250,000 million shortly before trial.

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