Pool Filter Explodes and Kills a Man, Manufacturer Tries to Cover Up Evidence

Synopsis

On August 27, 2006, a husband was cleaning his backyard swimming pool filter when it exploded in his face. The filter, which operated under pressure, came equipped with an automatic air-relief valve that was designed to automatically release entrapped air and eliminate the need to manually vent the filter. But the automatic air-relief valve didn't work and instead trapped air inside the filter, which caused the filter to explode.

While the husband was in the hospital, his wife told their pool serviceman about the accident. He told another serviceman, who called the filter manufacturer. Two days after the accident, the filter manufacturer's technician broke into the couple's yard and tampered with the filter. The husband died in the hospital the following week. The husband and wife sued the filter company in California for products liability, trespass and conspiracy. The plaintiffs claimed over $1.0 million in economic damages for medical expenses and lost income.