A little more than two years after a massive boiler explosion occurred in Soulard, the parties have announced a settlement of all pending lawsuits. On April 3, 2017, a 3,000 pound, pressurized steam container violently exploded at the Loy-Lange Box Company facility on Russell Avenue. The container flew 500 feet through the air before crash landing into the Faultless Linen facility. One person was killed and two were injured at Loy-Lange, while three more were killed and another injured at Faultless Linen.
Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. attorney Tom Neill represented the family of one of the individuals who died in the accident. That lawsuit was consolidated with suits filed by other families who lost loved ones or who were injured. The suits were set for a consolidated trial in August of this year. During two-day mediation in June, the plaintiffs reached settlements with Kickham Boiler and Engineering, Chicago Boiler Company, Aquacomp Water Treatment Services, Loy-Lange, and Arise Incorporated. Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. attorney Joan Lockwood played a key role in reaching those settlements at mediation. Following mediation, the plaintiffs also settled with Clayton Industries. The total amount of the settlements exceeded $47 million.
As described in the lawsuit, this tragedy resulted from a prolonged series of errors by the various defendants in the case, beginning with the failure by the designer and manufacturer to include a corrosion allowance on the pressure vessel. Thereafter, inadequate water chemistry treatment, blowdowns to remove sediment, and inspections by outside consultants during the life of the vessel led to excessive corrosion and the ultimate explosion. Additionally, a deficient repair of the leaking vessel four years earlier by an outside company left defective, corroded material in place.
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Posted in News July 22, 2019