$7.0 Million – Electrical Explosion
Premises Liability — Product Liability
Settlement: $7 million.
Case/Number: Case I.D. Confidential.
Court/Date: L.A. Superior Compton / February 6‚ 1996.
Judge: Hon. Steven C. Suzukawa‚ Dept. F.
Defendant – Timothy L. Walker (Ford‚ Walker‚ Haggerty & Behar‚ Long Beach).
Technical Experts: Plaintiff – Robert W. Arm strong‚ Ph.D.‚ electrical engineer‚ Duarte; Harry Windsor‚ P.E.‚ engineer‚ Tacoma‚ Wash.; Lawrence Kashar‚ engineer‚ L.A.; Steven Mackaig‚ fire investigations‚ El Cajon; W. Ronald Kilgore‚ engineer‚ Marietta‚ Ga.; T.C. Cheng‚ electrical engineer‚ L.A.; Paul F. Youngdahl‚ mechanical engineer‚ Palo Alto; K.R. Shah‚ Ph.D.‚ electrical engineer‚ Gathersburg‚ Md.; George Gaines‚ electrical engineer‚ Santa Ana.
Medical Experts: Plaintiff – Douglas Carlson‚ M.D.‚ cardiologist‚ Torrance; Dean Davies‚ M.D.‚ burn surgeon‚ Torrance; Marek Dobke‚ M.D.‚ plastic and burn surgeon‚ San Diego; Michael Falvey‚ M.D.‚ plastic and reconstructive surgeon‚ Torrance: Tomas Kennedy‚ M.D.‚ plastic surgeon‚ Coronado; Alfred Maronne‚ M.D.‚ ophthalmologist and eye plastic surgeon‚ Torrance; Susan Parks‚ M.D.‚ internal medicine/infectious disease‚ Harbor City; Charles W. Spenler‚ M.D.‚ plastic and burn surgeon‚ Long Beach.
Facts: On Oct. 5‚ 1993‚ the plaintiff‚ a 28-year-old electrical foreman involved in work on the premises of the defendant oil refinery‚ was inspecting a 12‚500 volt switch gear cubicle. An electrical explosion caused him to sustain second and third degree burns to his face‚ hands‚ arms and legs. The plaintiff was allegedly told before entering the cubicle that the cubicle had been de-energized‚ when in fact‚ it was not. The plaintiff brought this action against the defendants‚ the refinery‚ the general contractor and the manufacturer of the switch gear‚ based on negligence‚ premises liability and strict liability theories of recovery.
Contentions: The plaintiff contended that the defendants were liable for failing to warn him that the cubicle was energized. The plaintiff also contended that the cubicle should have been de-energized before allowing work to progress.
The defendants’ contentions were not disclosed.
Injuries: The plaintiff alleged he sustained second and third degree bums to his face‚ arms‚ hands and legs.
Specials in Evidence: MEDS $583‚000.
Settlement Discussions: The settlement discussions were not disclosed. The case settled after the depositions were taken of the liability experts.