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APRIL 7-12 2024


Lightning-Induced CSST Fire Claims & Litigation

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 (10:20am - 12:00pm) (Celebrity 6-8)

Since the early 2000s, corrugated stainless steel gas tubing (CSST) has become a common means of transporting natural and propane gas to gas appliances in residential and light commercial construction.  Due to its thin walls, all corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) is susceptible to damage and perforation from direct and indirect lightning strikes, mechanical damage and non-lightning related electrical faults.  When these perforations occur, the escaping gas can ignite and cause significant fires that are often in concealed spaces. 

This presentation will provide an overview of CSST and its development.  The presentation will also provide you with a comprehensive review of accepted methodologies for conducting scene investigations where CSST may be involved and present the status of litigation associated with CSST fire losses.  The presentation will include a discussion of the proper steps to performing an unbiased, detailed scene investigation and what laboratory review and processes should be undertaken in order to complete and complement the origin and cause scene investigation. Finally, we will engage in a detailed discussion regarding the present status of litigation associated with CSST, including conceptual approaches to proving liability, evidentiary matters and defenses that are often raised in these cases.


Anthony Morrone, Esq.

Tony is the chair of the Midwest Region of Cozen O’Connor’s Subrogation & Recovery Department. He also co-chairs the firm's Corrugated Stainless Steel Task Force, which focuses on fires caused by the failure of gas piping systems. Tony has successfully tried or arbitrated more than two dozen cases and has mediated many others. A member of the Federal Trial Bar, International Association of Arson Investigators and a frequent lecturer, Tony has overseen the investigation and litigation of thousands of fires, including more than 100 CSST cases.


Lee Green

    Lee has been performing root cause failure analysis, which includes CSST failures, for over 12 years and is currently employed at Firenze Engineering.  Mr. Green has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering as well as two M.S. degrees in engineering and is a Professional Engineer in multiple states.  Mr. Green has performed numerous scene examinations in which CSST is involved and has co-authored two papers and presented about lightning damage to fuel gas systems for the Tennessee Advisory Committee on Arson.


Elizabeth Buc

Elizabeth has a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, is a licensed PE in Metallurgical Engineering and has over 27 years of professional experience in the laboratory examination of evidence from fire losses including over 40 CSST related fires.  Dr. Buc founded Fire and Materials Research Laboratory, LLC—a forensic laboratory in Livonia, Michigan, in 2006 and continues to examine and compile data on CSST product failures. 

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