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$9,250,000 for Worker Burned in Explosion

August 21, 2019

Attorneys Forest Horne, Steven Corriveau and Hunt Willis negotiated a $9,250,000 settlement, just before trial, for a man suffering second and third degree burns and a traumatic brain injury when a machine exploded in the factory where he worked.

Our client was a 37-year old man who was placed by his temporary agency employer to perform janitorial work at the defendant’s manufacturing plant.  After just a few months of working at the plant, and while our client was performing housekeeping work, one of the manufacturing machines in the plant malfunctioned causing an explosion and flash fire that resulted in our client suffering second and third degree burns to more than one-third of his body; primarily to his back, upper and lower extremities, portions of his face and head, as well as other related injuries, including a traumatic brain injury.  Our client was airlifted to and hospitalized at the UNC Burn Center where he underwent extensive surgeries to treat his burn wounds. Following his discharge from the hospital, he was readmitted for two weeks due to heart problems, and later underwent a series of laser skin resurfacing treatments and physical therapy to treat his burn wounds.

Our client’s family initially contacted Martin & Jones for assistance with his workers’ compensation claim.  We learned that there may have been a written contract between our client’s temporary agency employer and the facility where his employer placed him.

We filed a lawsuit within six months of our client’s injuries, we engaged in extensive discovery with the defendant and obtained more than 50,000 pages of documents.  We hired three professional engineering experts, including fire safety, accident reconstruction, and metallurgical analysis experts, to investigate and determine the cause of the explosion and fire.  That work allowed us to put together the pieces of the puzzle about what happened to our client.

The defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment to have the case dismissed.  Martin & Jones opposed the motion.  After the case failed to settle a the first court ordered settlement conference, a second settlement conference was requested by the defendant.  Shortly before trial, the lawsuit settled for $8,000,000.

Within two weeks of settling the third-party case against the defendant,  Martin & Jones filed an action under 97-10.2(j) of the Workers’ Compensation Act to extinguish the workers compensation lien.  On Friday before the hearing to extinguish the lien, the workers’ compensation carrier agreed to waive the lien and pay an additional amount which brought the workers compensation settlement to more than $1,250,000.  The total settlement was $9,250,000.

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“We would like to express our gratitude to you (Hunt Willis) for accepting our case. First of all, when I called this law firm, a very sweet and kind lady answered the telephone and gave me assurance by asking and going over the accident with me, while my husband was in the hospital. I felt assured I was doing the right thing for us. She was so helpful in so many ways. What a professional lady. Secondly, we are much pleased that you have settled this case with the insurance company to receive the proper amount to assist us in so many ways. My husband and I are very happy with you and the firm in handling our case. You made us have confidence in your professional and integrity along with your assistant Ms. Routh, when you both came to see us in our home, in which we saw your compassion and thoughtfulness at that time. We will never forget what you have done for us, and we thank the lord for directing me to contact this firm. I’m glad I did.” 

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The law firm you choose makes a difference. If you are the victim of an accident or an illness that someone else caused, the North Carolina personal injury law firm of Martin & Jones has the depth of experience, skills and sensitivity to make your road to recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you have experience with the legal system or have never hired a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer before, our attorneys and staff will do our best to answer your questions, provide clear advice and prepare you and your family for what to expect. If you would like more information or to meet with one of our attorneys, please fill out the form below or call us at 800.662.1234.