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Settlement in Propane Explosion Case

Jaime D. Jackson

There was a massive explosion and fire at a propane facility.  A worker was badly burned in the fire.  Atlee Hall, LLP represented the worker in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a transfer pump that released liquid petroleum gas to the atmosphere that ignited resulting in the explosion and fire.The case was recently resolved on behalf of Atlee Hall’s client, the injured worker, following mediation and shortly before trial, with multiple defendants participating in the mediation and settlement.

The case was recently resolved on behalf of Atlee Hall’s client, the injured worker, following mediation and shortly before trial, with multiple defendants participating in the mediation and settlement.The case was a complex one, starting with determining the cause and origin of the explosion and fire.  Once we determined the first fuel ignited causing the explosion was the release of liquid petroleum gas from a liquid trap attached to the compressor, the equipment was then investigated in terms of the safety of its design, and whether there was a safer way, to design and install the equipment that would have eliminated the hazard of venting liquid petroleum gas to the atmosphere. Several safer alternatives were brought forth, that included such designs as an entirely self-contained system that would have eliminated the need to vent gas to the atmosphere, or the use of flare stacks to burn off the excess gas. Defendants included the manufacturer of the equipment, the owner of the propane facility and the manufacturers of the flame resistant personal protective clothing being worn by the injured worker when he suffered his burn injuries.

The case was a complex one, starting with determining the cause and origin of the explosion and fire.  Once we determined the first fuel ignited causing the explosion was the release of liquid petroleum gas from a liquid trap attached to the compressor, the equipment was then investigated in terms of the safety of its design, and whether there was a safer way, to design and install the equipment that would have eliminated the hazard of venting liquid petroleum gas to the atmosphere. Several safer alternatives were brought forth, that included such designs as an entirely self-contained system that would have eliminated the need to vent gas to the atmosphere, or the use of flare stacks to burn off the excess gas. Defendants included the manufacturer of the equipment, the owner of the propane facility and the manufacturers of the flame resistant personal protective clothing being worn by the injured worker when he suffered his burn injuries.We also worked extensively with our clients treating physicians to detail his burn injures, and breathing difficulties as a result of the fire, the extensive treatment and effects of these injuries on the quality of his life.

We also worked extensively with our clients treating physicians to detail his burn injuries, and breathing difficulties as a result of the fire, the extensive treatment and effects of these injuries on the quality of his life.

Atlee Hall Partners, Jaime Jackson and Robin Jabour represented the Plaintiff. The case was well organized and voluminous materials and information maintained by one of the firm’s many experienced paralegals, Sheila Stephenson.

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