The old dump was just next to the city’s property where a big storm water drainage vault was located. The dump was in the process of being closed. It was to be sealed and capped and prepared as a building site for a large commercial enterprise. Elaborate and careful engineering was required to close the dump properly and, with the help and advice of geotechnical engineers, a state of the art surface water drainage system was installed by contractors hired by the dump site owner and its development company for that purpose. This surface water drainage system was tied into the city’s conduits that led directly to the vault that the city workers were struggling to open. When they could not get a bolt loose on the grate covering the vault, the city workers applied a power wrench. The wrench generated a spark and the spark ignited the methane gas that had accumulated and settled deep in the concrete vault.
As organic material decomposes in a dump-site methane gas is produced. Sometimes there is so much of this gas that dumps actually sell it for energy use. In this case the methane gas migrated into the dump’s new surface water drainage system and, from there, into the city’s conduits and down into the depths of the vault where the power wrench generated the spark that ignited the gas in an explosion that severely burned two city workers.
"When the case came to Ed McGill, he realized immediately that these workers were entitled to much more."
You might think that city workers who were blown up and severely burned in an explosion while they were on the job would be limited to the relatively moderate benefits provided by the city’s workers compensation program. After all, they were on the job and workers compensation insurance is designed to compensate workers who are injured on the job. When this case came to Ed McGill, he realized immediately that these workers were entitled to much more. Even though they were injured on the job, the workers’ injuries were caused by the dump site owner, by the engineers and by the contractors working to close the dump site. It was they who planned and built a surface water drainage system without ensuring that it did not carry dangerous gas into the city’s vault. Claims and lawsuits against parties other than the employer are not barred by the usual exclusivity of workers compensation coverage.
The workers were treated at the hospital with the best burn center in the area. Their treatments, including painful debridement and skin grafts were long and painful. Because Ed McGill recognized that these workers were not limited to workers compensation benefits, all of the other responsible parties were sued and the workers received money compensation many many times greater than any worker’s compensation award. Reimbursement money for the workers compensation benefits might normally have to be paid from the proceeds of the lawsuit. Because Ed McGill effectively argued that the city’s negligence in failing to train the workers to test for gas disallowed the city from obtaining that reimbursement, this money was kept by the workers.
"Forty years of experience in the courtroom and a reputation for achieving great results with juries gives Ed the credibility that leads to the result of clients being fully compensated even without a trial."
Individual attention to cases and to the needs of Ed’s clients are the conditions necessary for the best results. This case was settled “on the courthouse steps” just as a jury trial was to begin. If the defendants and their insurers had not pooled their resources to offer very large amounts of money compensation, Ed McGill was ready, willing and able to bring the case to the jury. Forty years of experience in the courtroom and a reputation for achieving great results with juries gives Ed the credibility that leads to the result of clients being fully compensated even without a trial. Defendants and their insurers, confronted with Ed’s meticulous and thorough preparation, his willingness to try cases and his reputation for results in trial surrender to the inevitable and fully compensate Ed’s clients.
If you, or anyone whom you know, has been harmed as a result of the actions of another, give Ed McGill a call. Remember, there is no charge to discuss the case and never any fee in a personal injury case unless and until a recovery is made from the person who caused the harm or from that person’s insurer.
Content prepared by Edmond McGill. © Edmond McGill, 2015
This message and the information presented here do not create or evidence an attorney-client relationship nor are they intended to convey legal advice or counsel. You should not act upon this information without seeking advice from a qualified lawyer licensed in your own state or country who actually represents you. In this regard, you may contact The McGill Law Office and then representation and advice may be given if, and only if, attorney Edmond McGill agrees to do so in a written contract signed by him.