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Explosion Wrongful Death Case

Multimillion-dollar recovery for Pittsburgh-area worker killed in an explosion at an industrial plant. This workman was survived by a wife and two young children. The worker who was killed was employed by one of several contractors who were in the plant doing a large repair project for the owner. Among other things, the plant was in the business of processing gas, and it appears that there was a leak from one of the pipes that led to the explosion.

Determining The Cause Of The Accident

One of the big challenges in this case was sorting out the source of the leak and the cause of the explosion. The defendant operated a very complex gas processing system and has miles of pipeline. After lengthy investigation, it was ultimately determined that the source of the leak was old and damaged pipes, so we filed a lawsuit against the owner of the plaint. The owner, however, blamed certain of the contractors who were in the area claiming that they were creating sparks and other dangerous activity, which led to the explosions. OSHA had done an investigation of this explosion but was never able to establish the cause, however, we hired our own chemical engineer to prove that the owner's failure to maintain its equipment in good condition was the source of the leak. That solidified our case against the owner and took the focus off any conduct of the contractor(s).

In Pennsylvania, You Cannot Sue Your Employer In An Injury Case

Fortunately, our client was employed by one of the contractors rather than the owner of the plant. If he had been employed by the owner, he would not have been able to file this lawsuit because under Pennsylvania law, a person cannot sue his or her employer if he or she is injured on the job. Instead, the only thing he or she is entitled to is workers' compensation.

The man killed in this accident was a good wage-earner so a large part of our wrongful death damages was his family's loss of all of his future income. Also, a wrongful death claim in a situation like this includes compensation for the wife who has lost her husband and also compensation for the young children who have lost the guidance and upbringing of their father. The claims of the mother and the young children were a major part of the damages in the case.


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