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King, Shelly. A Manufacturer's Defect Or Murder? Fire Engineering. January 1986. pp. 31-34.

Abstract: This article explains how an attorney successfully used forensic evidence to prove that an accidental car fire was really an arson-homicide. A lawsuit was brought against General Motors because a brand new car exploded and killed the driver. The initial established cause of the fire was a faulty carburetor or a faulty fuel line. The attorney for General Motors began the defense of the case and discovered that the dental records of the deceased were missing. This prompted a new investigation of the body. The attorney thought maybe the dead victim was not who everyone assumed he was. Forensic scientists were called to examine the remains and they determined that the jaw of the body had been broken and that the body suffered its fatal injuries before set on fire.

To further support the defense case for General Motors the attorney decided that he must also prove the care was deliberately set on fire. He hired fire experts to examine the car and they were able to determine that the car was torched. A carburetor fire would burn upwards and the burn patterns and damage on the car in question did not support that claim. Fire experts were also able to determine that two separate fires set destroyed the car. In court the expert testimony convinced the jury that the fire was arson and not the result of a faulty carburetor.

For more information, contact:
Fire Engineering
Park 80 West, Plaza 2, 7th Floor
Saddle Brook, NJ 07663,
Phone: (201) 845-0800
Web Site: www.fire-eng.com

 
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