Update: Civil Suit Filed over Middletown Explosion
Two of the workers injured in the Kleen Energy Plant blast in Middletown, Connecticut have filed a lawsuit. Plaintiffs Timothy Hilliker of Glastonbury and Harold Thoma of Bolton, Connecticut are suing O&G Industries, Keystone Construction & Maintenance Services and Kleen Energy Systems for negligence connected with the explosion on February 7, 2010 that killed 6 workers and injured as many as 26.
According a report by the Middletown Press, the Complaint on behalf of the two workers and their spouses alleges the defendants in control of the building operations were negligent in failing to contain the natural gas that was being purged from lines and failed to warn the plaintiffs that this was the case. The suit also claims that none of the workers were aware that the gas purged from the fuel lines was not contained. Unaware of the extent of the gas situation, at the time of the explosion, workers were continuing to perform tasks that could easily cause ignition, such as welding, grinding and running a gas-fueled torch heater.
Middletown Press reports that according to the attorneys for plaintiffs, the protocols to ensure safety during operations such as the gas purge were not followed. Attorney Joel T. Faxon told the Press, "Not only was that protocol not properly executed, but there was a general sense of confusion among the workers that day as to what was going on. There was simply no communication from those in charge. This tragedy was 100 percent preventable."
An investigation to determine criminal negligence among all defendants is underway.
- Workers in suit: Explosion 100% preventable (Middletown Press)
- Officials Begin Middletown Explosion Investigations (FindLaw's Injured)
- Negligence: Background (FindLaw)
- At least 5 dead in Connecticut gas plant blast (Reuters)
- OSHA and Employee Workplace Rights (provided by Irom, Wittels, Freund, Berne & Serra, P.C.)
- History & Origin of Workers' Compensation (provided by Fulton & Barr, P.A.)
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