Rossiter & Boock Attorneys Help Secure Over $47 Million Settlement in Boiler Explosion Cases
Rossiter & Boock Partner Jamie Boock, along with other attorneys from the firm, represented plaintiffs in a case where a boiler exploded in downtown St. Louis, killing 4 people and injuring several others. Jamie Boock, along with other plaintiff’s attorneys, worked on the matter for two years, preparing it for trial, which was originally set for August 2019. Jamie’s work on the case was instrumental in securing a consolidated settlement worth more than $47 million just weeks before the trial was set to start.
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.
Lawsuits filed by those injured and the families of those killed were consolidated for an August 2019 trial before Judge Michael Noble in St. Louis. A two-day mediation was conducted by retired Judge Glenn Norton on June 6 and 7. During mediation, the plaintiffs reached settlements with Kickham Boiler and Engineering, Chicago Boiler Company, Aquacomp Water Treatment Services, Loy-Lange, and Arise Incorporated. Following mediation, the plaintiffs also settled with Clayton Industries. The total amount of the settlements is slightly over $47 million. Click to view local media coverage of the settlement announcement and the initial explosion.
According to the attorneys for the Plaintiffs, 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 the vessel’s owner and outside consultants during the life of the vessel led to excessive corrosion. Additionally, a deficient repair of the leaking vessel four years earlier by an outside company left defective, corroded material in place.
Several plaintiff’s attorneys who worked on the case spoke to the media after the settlement was announced. They reiterated that while the large settlement cannot reverse the tragic events of that day, it can help victims and their loved ones move forward in the recovery process. Additionally, they feel the large settlement serves as a signal to other companies and governmental safety regulators that these types of boiler systems must be designed, manufactured, inspected and maintained to exacting standards, in order to prevent another tragedy like this.
“Some cases drag on for years and years, but this case didn’t. Yes, this was a very complex case. But good lawyers on both sides worked together. It took tremendous coordination and cooperation from the plaintiff’s attorneys and the defense attorneys in order to gather evidence and expert testimony. Ultimately, it was settled quickly with the best possible outcome for the victims and their families.” – Matthew J. Rossiter, Partner with Rossiter & Boock, LLC. Click here to view the complete interview with some of the attorneys involved in the case.
Rossiter & Boock is a St. Louis-based trial law firm specializing in fiduciary law (trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, related disputes and administration), business litigation and personal injury matters (including medical malpractice, product defects and motor vehicle accidents). With nine full time attorneys and a robust support staff, the firm has the capacity to handle even the most complex legal matters with efficiency and personal service. To learn more about the firm, go to www.rossiterboock.com.