Plaintiff worked for Defendant, a manufacturing company whose manufacturing process involved the use of two vats of molten liquid maintained at 800 degrees centigrade, into which metal parts were immersed. Covers made of asbestos and cement were beside the vat, to be put on as needed to conserve heat. A worker knocked one of the covers into the molten liquid and the cover sank without causing a splash. After a few minutes, the molten liquid erupted and injured the Plaintiff who was standing nearby.
There after experiments indicated that a compound of asbestos and cement would undergo a chemical change at temperatures over 500 degrees centigrade, so that hydrogen and oxygen in the material would combine to form h20. The water at this temperature would turn to steam and produce an explosion or eruption
The Plaintiff sued the Defendant and the trial court held in favor of Plaintiff, finding negligence on the part of the worker in knocking the cover into the vat.
Did the trial court reach the right decision by holding in favor of the Plaintiff? Hint: Think about proximate cause.
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