A woman who was burned in a propane cloud explosion at work in 2016 has confidentially settled a negligent installation and maintenance lawsuit for $7.5 million.*
Ryan Langley and Charles Hodge of Hodge and Langley Law Firm report that the 45-year-old woman was filling a propane tank on the forklift she was operating when the hose caught the forklift wheel and separated from the dispensing station tank, causing a propane cloud to form. The catalytic converter on the forklift ignited the cloud, even though the forklift’s ignition was off. Langley said his client had performed the task multiple times before without incident. The dispensing station did not have a pull-away or quick disconnect that could have prevented the propane cloud from forming.
The woman suffered severe burns to her face, requiring treatment at the JMS Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia, and multiple surgeries to correct the scarring. The $7.5 million settlement includes approximately $1.5 million in special damages to account for her medical expenses.*
Langley said the client was resilient in the face of her injuries and that her positive attitude and composure would have made a positive impression on a jury if the suit had gone to trial. “She’s a remarkable lady,” Langley said. “I think my partner, Charlie, and I cried more during the three years of litigation than she did. She’s just tough and strong and has a strong faith in the Lord. When they would scrutinize her in her past workplace incidents and all that, she never batted an eye. She was there in those depositions. She participated every time. She was never particularly blaming of others.”
*Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.