Explosion Lawyer

Our explosion lawyers have won 8-figure settlements for clients. Our law firm has the experience and record of success you need to obtain full compensation and hold corporate wrongdoers accountable.

Independent Investigation by Explosion Lawyer

House Explosion

These are some of the remains of a house that exploded, resulting in our client suffering severe burns and traumatic brain injury.

A lawyer with explosion lawsuit experience will know that it is necessary to conduct an independent investigation to determine the following:

  • Was there gross negligence on the part of a company responsible for the blast?
  • Did a company know there was a risk of an explosion, and what was done to prevent it?
  • Was a defect in a product or process involved?
  • Was a service technician or other maintenance worker careless, and if so, was it because of inadequate training?

Our law firm has the resources to dig until we have evidence to build a winning case and to hire some of the best scientific experts in nation.

“It’s crucial to do an independent investigation, so we work closely with experienced investigators to determine the actual cause of an explosion,” said attorney Eric Hageman. “In doing so, we have found liability for things such as failure to comply with safety regulations, product defects and, in a recent case, for failure to protect against a phenomenon known as odor fade.”

$10 Million Explosion Settlement

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman recently won $10 million in a settlement for a man who was severely burned in a propane gas explosion.

Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman can be contacted for a free consultation (click here).

We alleged that the propane tank was only filled with one third of propane needed, in violation of industry safety standards, and the explicit warning on the tank. Our argument was that, because the tank was underfilled, odorant in the propane (added so that a leak can be detected by the awful smell) was rendered odorless. Because it had no odor, our client had no warning a propane leak had occurred. According to Eric:

“As most people know, propane has a distinctive odor, added by the manufacturer, but various environmental factors can cause propane to lose its odor, which allows escaping gas to go undetected and result in a serious hazard.  Odor fade is a major problem with new propane tanks, which can absorb the odorant into the metal shell of the tank. We have found liability for ‘underfilling’ propane tanks, causing odor fade and creating a dangerous explosion risk.”

Our client spent nearly 2 months in a burn unit. He had third degree burns over almost 60% of his total body surface. Almost 70% of patients with comparable burns do not survive.

60% burns to his face and neck, entire trunk, bilateral hands and upper extremities, and bilateral lower extremities. He developed severe malnutrition and required enteral nutrition via a feeding tube placed for 43 days. He was on the ventilator for 4 days, had a bladder catheter for 28 days, and central venous access for 43 days.

Almost all of his burns were third degree, resulting in a total of 8 operations to achieve wound closure through various skin grafting techniques. He was hospitalized 55 days, in which time he developed a graft infection. He developed acute stress reaction, seen in essentially a third of burn patients, which progressed to persistent symptoms consistent with PTSD.

Wrongful Death from Carbon Monoxide Inhalation

House Explosion and Fire Cause Wrongful Death

Charred Remains of House after Explosion Caused Fatal Fire

In another of our cases, our client’s mother was sleeping in a duplex she had rented, when an explosion in the kitchen caused a fast-moving fire.  The mother did not awaken until after smoke and carbon monoxide had filled her side of the house. She was found dead in the charred remains of the home. There were no smoke or CO detectors.

The mother died as a direct result of the fire, with the autopsy report and blood toxicology indicating that her cause of death was carbon monoxide inhalation. We argued that the high level of carbon monoxide indicated that she survived for a lengthy period of time after initiation of the blaze.

“Had the home been equipped with smoke detectors, our client’s mother would have had time to escape the fire without injury.”

Family members who may have wrongful death claims after an explosion include the following: wife, husband, child, parent, other family members, depending on the state where the lawsuit is filed. A lawyer will need to be consulted.

Injuries

Explosion injuries have four classifications all of which can be fatal. Primary injuries are blast wave injuries caused by the increased pressure exerted on the body. Secondary injuries are penetrating trauma injuries from flying debris. Tertiary injuries result from being thrown by the blast. All other injuries including smoke inhalation, burns, crush injuries and complications of existing medical problems are classified as quaternary injuries. Contact our law firm about a lawsuit if you were injured in an explosion and want compensation.

Burn Injury

Third-degree burns are complex trauma injuries requiring specialty care in medical settings that be lengthy and expensive. Depending on the severity and location of the burns, treatment may require breathing assistance, tube feeding, skin grafts, plastic surgery, specialized dressings, ointments and creams; and physical or occupational therapy.

Smoke Inhalation

Breathing in chemical-filled smoke can cause severe injury, even permanent brain damage and death. Some possible smoke inhalation injuries include the following:

  • Atelectasis–a partial or full collapse of a lung;
  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome–a life-threatening condition caused by fluid buildup in the alveoli (air sacs) of the lungs, characterized by severe shortness of breath;
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning–characterized by flu-like symptoms including headaches, nausea and fatigue, this condition can cause brain damage and death;
  • Cyanide poisoning–characterized by weakness, confusion, dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue and unusual behavior, this condition can cause heart attack, seizure, stroke, coma and death;
  • Hypoxia–oxygen deprivation that can cause brain damage.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Blast concussions can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms, including headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness/balance problems, fatigue, insomnia/sleep disturbances, drowsiness, sensitivity to light/noise, blurred vision, difficulty remembering, and/or difficulty concentrating.

Lung Injury

The initial “blast wave” (shockwave) can cause lung damage called blast lung. This is one of several possible primary injuries attributable to the blast wave, and the most common fatal primary blast injury among survivors.

Heart Damage

The initial blast wave can create blunt force trauma to the chest exerting overpressure on the heart, causing serious damage. Secondary injury in a blast occurs when shrapnel or flying debris pierces the skin creating an open wound. These injuries include lacerations of arteries, veins, heart valves and the heart muscle that can cause hemorrhaging.

Liver Injury

The blast wave exerts intense pressure on the body, and most often adversely impacts the ears, abdomen and lungs. Lung tissue can be torn or burst at the gas-fluid interphase upon impact. The extent of the liver damage during the explosion depends on the intensity of the pressure, the density of the tissue and other factors.

Crush Injury

Crush Injuries are often the result of a structural collapse, when debris or rubble from the structure falls on people nearby injuring and immobilizing them.  Although all parts of the body can suffer crush injuries, the legs are most commonly affected, followed by arms and then the torso. These injuries can cause bleeding, bruising, bone fracture, nerve damage, crush syndrome and compartment syndrome.

Ruptured Eardrum

The initial blast wave (overpressure) can exert enough force on the tympanic membrane (eardrum) to rupture or destroy it and to fracture or dislocate the ossicles (bony structures) in the middle ear causing hearing loss.

Eye Damage

Preliminary damage to the eye in a blast wave can include: orbital fracture, a break in the bone of the eye socket; ruptured globes, tear in the cornea and/or the sclera, the white part of the eye; and traumatic optic neuropathy, damage to the optic nerve. Any of these severe injuries can cause permanent vision loss. In addition to the risk of going blind, the entire eye may be so damaged that it has to be surgically removed.

Explosion Causes

Propane Gas

Propane is generally stored in a tank as a liquid and used as a gas. Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignited by many sources, including open flames, smoking materials, electrical sparks, and static electricity. Its vapors are heavier than air. For this reason, they may accumulate in low-lying areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and ditches, or along floors. However, air currents can sometimes carry propane vapors elsewhere within a building. Read about a propane explosion lawsuit.

Natural Gas Pipline

The video below shows the inferno caused by a gas pipeline (main) leak. Witnesses said the fireball was 100 feet high.

Natural gas blasts are generally caused by either a gas line or defective product exploding. In these cases, the gas company, a manufacturer and others may be liable, meaning they are legally responsible and can be sued for personal injury or wrongful death.

Some products that have caused blasts include water heaters, outdoor grills, ovens and generators.

For more information, read Gas Explosion Lawyer.

Boiler

Boiler blasts can occur when there is excessive pressure.  When the boiler can no longer contain the excessive pressure allowed to build in the boiler, the boiler explodes. Excessive pressure accidents can completely destroy a building. Fuel-related boiler blasts can occur when there is a failure to purge combustible gases from the firebox before ignition is attempted. Leaking fuel valves can also cause a blast.
In some cases, a blast can be caused when the boiler is allowed to operate without adequate water. For more information, read Boiler Explosion Lawyer.

What Can an Explosion Lawyer Do for You?

If you hire an explosion lawyer at our law firm, we will help you and your family:

  • get answers;
  • hold all responsible parties accountable.

Our attorneys have successfully used their experience to investigate, litigate and win these cases.  They are familiar with the terminology and have access to highly-qualified experts who can provide valuable testimony.

Contact our lawyers to find out if you have a personal injury (you or a family member was injured) or wrongful death (your loved one did not survive) claim and can sue the wrongdoers.

For more information, please read the following:

News

1 DEAD, 1 INJURED IN HI-TECH STEEL BLAST IN SAGINAW

A maintenance crew was working on a furnace inside Hi-Tech Steel Treating in Saginaw, MI, when it blew shortly after 1 p.m. One man died and another was injured. According to witnesses, the crew was working on a door of the furnace to try to find a leak.

HOUSE BLOWS UP, INJURES 1 IN MANASSAS, VA

A member of a work crew was severely injured when a house blew up in Manassas, VA on February 28. The home, located in the 11600 block of Kahns Road, was under construction and it is believed that the 6:50 a.m. explosion occurred when the man showed up for work and turned on the propane furnace.

FIRST STUDENT BUS EXPLOSION INJURES 1 IN ROCHESTER, MN

An employee at First Student, a transportation company in Rochester, MN, was injured and taken to the hospital when a propane-fueled bus exploded in a garage on February 17. Five people were in the garage, located at 2021 32nd Ave. N.W., at the time of the blast. No other injuries were reported. Witnesses told the Rochester Post Bulletin that the blast blew the doors off the garage and shook nearby buildings.

MAN DIES IN BOILER EXPLOSION IN REVERE, MA

Reyes Bertrand,  50, a husband and father of two,  died while checking on a boiler that had recently been malfunctioning. The blast occurred just after 4:30 a.m. on February 15 in a multifamily home located at 785 Revere Beach Parkway. No other injuries were reported.

PHILLIPS 66 PARADIS PIPELINE EXPLOSION IN NEW ORLEANS: 5 INJURED, 1 MISSING

Five people were injured and another is missing after a blast at the Phillips 66 Paradis Pipeline Station in the St. Charles parish of New Orleans on February 9. Three of the injured workers were treated at the scene. Two who suffered burns were taken to St. Anne Hospital in Raceland one of them was treated and released, the other was airlifted to a burn unit in Baton Rouge. Running from Venice to Paradis, the pipeline carries highly volatile natural gas liquids that are used to produce butane and propane.

In some situations, major gas and oil companies do business in every state: Alabama AL, Arizona AZ, Los Angeles, California CA, Colorado CO, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, Florida FL, Georgia GA, Iowa IA, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Kansas KS, Louisiana LA, Massachusetts MA, Maryland MD, Maine ME, Michigan MI, Minnesota MN, North Carolina NC, North Dakota ND, Nebraska NE, New Hampshire NH, New Jersey NJ, New York NY, Ohio OH, Oklahoma OK, Oregon OR, Pennsylvania PA, Rhode Island RI, South Carolina SC, South Dakota SD, Tennessee TN, Texas TX, Utah UT, Virginia VA, Washington WA, West Virginia WV, Wyoming WY.