Aeton Law Partners has extensive experience in matters involving the energy industry, in particular, oil and propane delivery and service companies. Partner N. Kane Bennett has significant experience working with service and delivery companies in the energy sector. Attorney Bennett has represented multiple energy-related service and delivery businesses with respect to litigation, risk management, and transactions. He works with clients in the propane, natural gas, oil heat, HVAC, and renewable energy industries.
Attorney Bennett has significant experience with advising energy industry clients on risk management, including the development of best practices, checklists for technicians, invoicing practices, customer contracts and disclaimers, and warranties. Attorney Bennett is familiar, from a legal perspective, with the various National codes under the National Fire Protection Association (including NFPA 54, 58, 31) and the best practice resources from industry groups such as the National Oil Heat Research Alliance (NORA). He has used his experience to advise clients on specific ways to avoid exposure on the litigation side and to assist on the business side with the development of contracts and client service procedures.
Defense Attorney for Oil, Gas, and Propane Companies
Attorney Bennett has litigation and trial experience in a variety of personal injury and property damage claims arising from oil spills, propane explosions, fires, puff backs, and carbon monoxide. He has worked directly with private businesses and at the request of insurance companies and third party administrators. He also frequently works with top experts in the industry on the defense of these claims.
Attorney Bennett recently won a jury verdict in favor of an oil delivery and service company accused of causing a fire at a residence. He worked with top levels experts in oil heat and combustion science to develop a successful defense based on the science of how combustion occurs in oil heat equipment. The matter involved conflicting expert opinions on the applicability of national building codes, engineering standards regarding the installation of oil burning equipment, the failure of oil equipment, and the ignition sequence of heating oil.
Subrogation Attorney for Personal Injury or Property Damage
Attorney Bennett has experience in subrogation on behalf of insurance companies seeking damages arising from fires, explosions, and spills. Attorney Bennett has experience in subrogation cases involving damages and personal injury from fires in commercial and residential settings. He has worked with cause and origin experts and a variety of engineering disciplines to successfully handle these claims. He has become very familiar with the widely recognized guide for investigations of fires and explosions known as NFPA 921. Additionally, he was the author of the legal brief of record for the successful Connecticut Supreme Court case dealing with NFPA 921 and the malfunction theory of products liability as it relates to fire cause and origin. Spoliation of evidence is a frequent issue in these investigations, and Attorney Bennett was involved in the Connecticut Supreme Court case dealing with spoliation and its impact on litigation.
Attorney Bennett’s experience also includes seeking reimbursement for damages arising from remediation of oil spills. These claims are typically brought pursuant to Connecticut’s remediation statute codified at Connecticut General Statutes Title 22a and chapter 446. He has handled matters involving spills of a few gallons to 12,000 gallons or more. He has worked with experts in soil and groundwater remediation and engineering experts in the terminal and facility design for bulk storage terminals.