Flexible Braided Stainless Steel Hose Failures  

Subrogation & Recovery Alert

June 16, 2016

Recently Cozen O’Connor has seen an increase in the number of water loss claims attributed to the failure of flexible braided stainless steel hoses attached to water source heat pumps. A water source heat pump is a device that can be used to provide heat or cooling to a building space by using the building’s water supply to extract and dissipate heat.

Water source heat pumps are equipped with flexible braided stainless steel hoses – that is, flexible rubber hoses covered by a braided, stainless steel exterior to provide additional strength. Often, both ends of these hoses are equipped with fittings, commonly seen on garden hoses, that connect the heat pump to a building’s water supply system. For reference, examples of a braided stainless steel hose and a water source heat pump are pictured below. 

Cozen O’Connor is handling several matters in litigation in Canada involving the failure of braided stainless steel hoses on water source heat pumps. The hoses allegedly have been improperly manufactured. The failure mode at issue in the litigation is that the garden hose-style fitting slips out of the hose, an example is pictured below. The fittings are secured in place with steel sleeves – known as ferrules – that are crimped around the hose fittings to hold them in place. Through our research and investigation with engineers specializing in material failures, a batch of 500 braided stainless steel water hoses manufactured in or around July/August of 2011 may have been improperly crimped or otherwise improperly manufactured and tested, causing the fittings to slip out of the ferrule.

Some identifying features of the failed braided stainless steel hoses are:

  • Three circular bumps arranged in a triangle fashion on the metal sleeve intended to hold the coupling in place (example below); and
  • A label indicating that the hose was pressure-tested in or around July-August of 2011.

The Canadian litigation is proceeding on a court-ordered timetable stipulating that examinations for discoveries and mandatory mediation are to be completed by December 31, 2016. If you are aware of a failed hose exhibiting these features notify Cozen O’Connor before July 15, 2016. We may be able to include a claim for your losses caused by the hose failure in the present litigation.


Authors

Pamela Pengelley

Office Managing Counsel

ppengelley@cozen.com

(416) 639-6672

James I. Tarman, Jr.

Chair, National Expansion

jtarman@cozen.com

(312) 382-3132

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As always, the attorneys at Cozen O’Connor remain available to assess any other hose failures or other product failures at any time. For more information, please contact: Pam Pengelley (Canada) at (416) 361-3200 or ppengelley@cozen.com, or Jim Tarman (United States) at (312) 382-3132 or jtarman@cozen.com.