Countryman, et. al. v. Iowa Double Circle, et. al. (Iowa Trial)
Facts: Seven people were killed, and many others were seriously injured during a family gathering in Richland, Iowa. The home that was the gathering place for the family and friends exploded due to the accumulation of propane gas. The case was based on the negligent failure to warn concerning the dangers of propane and the reasonable measures to take to ameliorate those dangers.
Settlement: Settlement was reached against the propane retailer for the policy limits of $5,000,000 and with the homeowner for $1,300,000. The wholesalers and pipeline settled for a significant confidential amount prior to the start of trial. Trial began against Lennox, the appliance manufacturer, before the case was settled for a substantial confidential amount during voir dire. The press reported total settlements of approximately $20,000,000.
In addition the District Court dismissed during the case a wholesaler based upon the limited liability statute. This was appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court which resulted in a reversal finding that a managing partner to a limited liability corporation can be personally liable.