Not too long ago a Pennsylvania jury awarded two melters working at Ametek Special Metal Products $12.7 million. Back in 2003 the two men were working in the North Strabane, PA plant overseeing melting operations when the specialty metals furnace exploded, spraying the 44-and 45-year-old men with molten metal causing severe burn injuries. The lawsuit names the manufacturer of the furnace as defendants, including Inductotherm Group, Allied Minerals, and Vesuvius USA Corp.
The furnace exploded due to a lining failure, allowing the molten metal to come into contact with a copper coil filled with ethylene-glycol and water, resulting in a chemical reaction and explosion, which ejected hot, liquid metal across the workplace. Defective products and machinery such as this furnace pose a serious threat to their operators and workers around them. In the United States burn injuries similar to those incurred by the aforementioned melters are responsible for approximately 2.4 million injuries a year and can be debilitating and keep you away from work.
According to the lawsuit, the older of the two injured workers suffered burns over 65 percent of his body that have resulted in disfigurements over 95 percent of the melter’s body. After the accident, which occurred on September 2, 2003, he was in a coma for two months. Furthermore, the burns have irreparable damage to his sweat and oil glands making it impossible for his body to regulate temperature or skin moisture. It goes without saying, this catastrophic on the job injury has left him unable to work. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the Washington County jury awarded him $9.6 million and his wife $80,000.
The younger of the two gentlemen’s injuries were less severe, with burns over 22 percent of his body and disfigurement across 33 percent. Fortunately for him, he was eventually able to return to work. The younger plaintiff was awarded $3 million in compensation and damages and his wife $50,000.
Both men will have to face health issue for the rest of their lives. Washington County jurors attributed 50 percent of liability for the industrial accident to Inductotherm and split the other half of legal responsibility between the two companies that manufactured the lining of the exploded furnace.
As a general consideration, Charleston burn injury lawyers want you to know many types of personal injuries are protected under South Carolina law and may entitle you to collect benefits.