An Oklahoma propane company is facing a $2 million lawsuit after an explosion killed one man and left another seriously injured. The company, which is accused of wrongful death and personal injury, has denied all wrongdoing in the incident, which occurred in May 2013. That incident occurred at a sand blasting company in Eufaula. A 41-year-old man died in the blast, and the other man suffered critical injuries including severe burns.
Statements made in the lawsuit allege that the propane tank was kept in a dangerous place and was poorly maintained. The transportation of the tanks has also been drawn into question, as has the company's failure to adequately inspect the propane tanks before distributing them to buyers. Family members of both victims are seeking $1 million each in connection with the incident, arguing that the tank company was negligent in its actions regarding its products.
The lawsuit in this case may be hindered by barriers related to workplace safety inspection; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration failed to issue any citations in connection with the accident. The accident investigation in that matter lasted for approximately six months, according to official reports. Attorneys for the victims' relatives say that those findings should not be considered relevant, however, as OSHA only inspects workplaces for workplace accidents that happen to employees and vendors on those sites. The two victims in this case were employed by another firm, so the incident may have been outside of OSHA's jurisdiction.
Victims of workplace injury and death deserve workers' compensation and other civil compensation because of their suffering and potential physical disability. The plaintiffs in this case may be able to recover financial damages from not only the men's employer, but also from the negligent propane tank provider that failed to take necessary safety steps. A qualified personal injury attorney can help these victims learn more about their legal rights.
Source: Muskogee Phoenix, "McAlester company faces $2M suit after Eufaula blast" Jeanne LeFlore, Jan. 11, 2014