In the case, an Oneonta man and his step-daughter alleged that the manufacturer sold him wood that contained harmful chemicals to use as firewood. The wood was purchased in October 2011 from the Defendant’s facility near Warrior, Alabama. The company often made its scrap wood available to local residents to use as firewood, and, prior to this case, had never received a complaint that the materials were unfit or caused any harm.
The manufacturer provided evidence at trial that the wood was untreated scrap wood comprised of excess material cut from the raw timber prior to treating it to manufacture railroad ties. Chemical testing on the wood showed that the only substances present were those which occur naturally as elements in the atmosphere. Ultimately, there was no evidence presented at trial that the wood was tainted by any chemical exposure at the facility, nor was it unsafe to burn in a fireplace.
At the close of trial, the Blount County jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant after an hour of deliberation.