Demand
$1 million

Offer
None

Result
Motion to dismiss with prejudice granted

Venue
Allegheny County

Judge
Wettick

Attorney
Paul J. Walsh III

Date
February 1996

Explosion results in death after five days

This wrongful death case occurred when the Plaintiff-decedent was operating a steel dust separator. A skip hoist lifted steel drums filled with highly explosive steel dust 40 feet above ground and then dumped the dust from the drums into a machine separating the smaller steel dust particles from the larger particles. When the dust floated down toward the floor, it came into contact with a forklift and ignited. The Plaintiff-decedent sustained burns over 90% of his body. He passed away five days after the incident.

The Estate of the Plaintiff-decedent sued the Plaintiff-decedent’s employer as well as several companies which performed repair work on the separator and skip hoist system prior to the explosion. Our client, a welding company, was alleged to have manufactured wheels used on the skip hoist’s conveyor system. Our position was that there was no evidence that the wheels manufactured for the system caused the skip hoist to improperly dump the steel dust particles. Prior to trial, upon motion, our client was dismissed with prejudice from the lawsuit.