Hydronic Valve Producer Sued After Damaging Leak in Hospital

A suit was filed Monday in the Eastern District of Tennessee by plaintiff Chattanooga Hamilton County Hospital Authority (doing business as Erlanger Health System) against defendant Honeywell International, Inc. According to the hospital, Honeywell should be held responsible for damage to advanced medical equipment.

Honeywell designs and manufactures “hydronic valves for use in, among other applications, water chilled air handling units.” The hydronic valves produced by the defendant are present in the Plaintiff’s hospital, Erlanger.

Erlanger is home to a cardiovascular operating room that uses robotic imaging equipment. Next to the cardiovascular operating room is a room that contains various mechanical and electrical equipment, including “an overhead chilled water unit and an electrical panel used to supply power to the robotic imaging equipment in the cardiovascular operating room.” The overhead chilled water unit in the adjacent room was made up of a hydronic valve produced by the defendant.

In September of 2019, the aforementioned hydronic valve allegedly leaked onto the electric paneling, which led to “substantial damage and destruction to the electrical panel.” The plaintiff asserts that the malfunction of the hydronic valve occurred because the valve was not properly designed or manufactured. The water leak from the valve damaged the electrical panel in the room, which in turn negatively affected the robotic imaging equipment in the neighboring room. Erlanger asserts that the leak caused them to sustain losses of $800,000.

Erlanger argues that Honeywell had a duty to provide them with a hydronic valve absent of any defects. Since the valve was defective, the plaintiff contends that Honeywell was negligent in the valve’s production, liable to the damages caused by the faulty valve, and breached their implication that the hydronic valve was merchantable. The complaint cites counts of negligence, strict liability, and breach of implied warranty of merchantability. The plaintiff is seeking favorable judgment on all counts, $800,000 in damages, prejudgment interest, and any other relief deemed proper by the Court.

The plaintiff is represented by Parker & Crofford.