Pool Filter Explosion Cases

Ten years ago, Kevin Lancaster resolved a case involving an exploding pool filter. The client was inspecting the filter after he had cleaned it, in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, when air within it became trapped and built up pressure. The filter exploded in his face, causing brain and spinal cord injuries. The case settled before trial for $1.6 million. The Lancaster Trial Team has built on its experience with pool filter injuries. Because of the 1998 case, they know pool filters can pressurize, explode, and cause severe bodily injury or death. Filters operate under pressure, and can explode violently without any means to release entrapped air. Filters may also lack a “positive means of attachment” to hold the lid to the body of the filter, allowing it to suddenly separate and explode. Currently, the team is prosecuting two exploding-pool-filter cases. One involves a filter that exploded in 2004, in which the filter’s lid blew off and into the client’s head. The man,­ a 48-year-old fiber optics engineer with two minor children, sustained a severe brain injury. He is permanently disabled, cannot return to work, and will require a lifetime of assistance with daily living. He and his wife claim the filter was defectively designed because it lacked an automatic air-relief valve to prevent pressure buildup, it lacked a safety device to prevent the lid from flying off and had a defective clamp that broke under pressure and allowed the lid to fly off. At mediation, the plaintiffs settled with the clamp manufacturer and the pool­ system installer for $1 million each. The case continues against other defendants. In the second case, the team represents the widow of a man who was killed when his pool filter, which featured an automatic air-relief valve to release entrapped air, exploded . The automatic air-relief valve failed and trapped air in the filter, pressurized and exploded in the man’s face. The case is scheduled for mediation. Kevin Lancaster, Oliver Vallejo and Corey Friedman of the Lancaster Trial Team represent the clients in these ongoing pool filter cases.

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