Pentair Unit Hit With $193 Million Verdict In Celebrity Cruise Lines Suit

Case involved outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease on Horizon cruise.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (AP) - Industrial manufacturer Pentair Inc., which makes water pumps and pool and spa equipment, on Thursday said a jury ordered the company to pay Celebrity Cruise Lines about $193 million in commercial damages in a case involving an outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease on a Horizon cruise ship in 1994.

In a statement, Pentair said it believes the verdict, against its subsidiary, Essef Corp., is ''not consistent with the law nor the evidence offered at trial,'' and plans to make post-trial motions related to damage causation and a claim for lost business value.

Celebrity Cruises sued Essef and some of its subsidiaries - before Pentair acquired Essef in 1999 - for attorney fees and costs for prior litigation as well as out-of-pocket losses, lost profits and loss of business enterprise value after the outbreak.

The company said the judgment excludes prejudgment interest and attorneys fees, which will be calculated by the court.

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