Omega Flex wins jury trial over lightning-caused fire

Omega Flex Inc. announced in mid-July that the company secured a successful federal jury verdict in American Automobile Insurance Company a/s/o Kostecki v. Omega Flex Inc.

MIDDLETOWN, CONN. — Omega Flex Inc. announced in mid-July that the company secured a successful federal jury verdict in American Automobile Insurance Company a/s/o Kostecki v. Omega Flex Inc. The case involved an April 2010 lightning fire to a house in High Ridge, Mo. The homeowners' insurance company, American Automobile Insurance Co. (AAIC), sued OmegaFlex alleging that lightning burned a hole through the company's TracPipe corrugated stainless steel tubing and caused a fire. The jury unanimously found for OmegaFlex on all counts and awarded AAIC nothing in damages.

The case involved a lightning strike to a tree near a home. AAIC alleged that the lightning energy travelled from the tree into the house and burned a hole through the TracPipe CSST, releasing gas and causing a fire. OmegaFlex proved that AAIC's claims were false and, in fact, the damage to the CSST pipe was caused after the fire had already started. The jury unanimously found that OmegaFlex was not negligent in designing, testing, and manufacturing TracPipe and that TracPipe is not a defective product.

After years of use by millions of homeowners the evidence proves TracPipe CSST is not uniquely susceptible to damage from a lightning current that may enter a home. In fact, CSST has a superior overall safety record as compared to other appliances or equipment. OmegaFlex will continue to vigorously defend itself against frivolous claims about the safety of its products.

TracPipe CounterStrike from Omega Flex is designed to be more resistant to damage from transient electrical arcing than conventional gas piping materials. In a lightning strike, the electrical energy of the lightning can energize all electrical and mechanical components in a building. This electrical energy, in attempting to reach ground, may arc between systems that have different electrical potential, and arcing can cause damage to any of these systems. TracPipe CounterStrike is designed with an electrically conductive jacket to dissipate this energy, protecting the gas-carrying stainless steel core.

Established in 1975, Omega Flex Inc. is an international producer of flexible metallic piping products. It produces products under the OmegaFlex, TracPipe, CounterStrike and AutoFlare are registered trade names. Additional information is available at www.omegaflex.com.

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