C&D Leaders in Fire, Explosion and Burn Injury LitigationNovember 2010
Over the past 50 years, the Chicago personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Corboy & Demetrio have represented victims who have been injured, burned or killed in some of the most complex and serious cases arising from fires and explosions. Our skilled attorneys have experience in all areas, including residential, commercial and mass transit fires, natural and propane gas explosions, and oil, chemical and electric burns.
We combine our exceptional experience with a deep commitment, dedication and compassion for our clients, a relentless drive to achieve justice, and the resources necessary to pursue such serious cases.
Our work has resulted in outstanding verdicts and top settlements for our clients. Below is a sample of the results we have achieved.
Our Record of Success
In October, 2003, a fire broke out at the Cook County Administration Building at 69 West Washington in Chicago, Illinois. Several people died and many were injured. Daniel Kotin, a partner at Corboy & Demetrio, filed the first of several lawsuits in the case. Ultimately, the lawsuits were resolved with a global settlement of over $100 million for the 22 victims.
A 42-year-old man who survived a natural gas explosion at his residence in Chicago settled his lawsuit against People’s Gas Light & Coke Company for $3.25 million. He was represented by Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr. of Corboy & Demetrio. When the homeowner returned home from an outing with his 11-year-old daughter and entered his house, he smelled gas and sent his daughter outside to wait until he investigated. Upon entering the kitchen, from where the odor emanated, the homeowner switched on the overhead light which sparked the explosion. It was later determined that gas had been leaking out of an old Cobra flexible connector found behind his stove. The homeowner suffered third-degree burns on portions of his face, neck, arms and upper body, which left him with permanent scarring.
Corboy & Demetrio attorneys, Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr., and Shawn Kasserman secured an $8.5 million settlement for the family of a fire inspector who was burned and killed when a transformer he was inspecting in an electrical vault in a Chicago area Neiman Marcus store exploded, causing a fire.
A 37 year-old maintenance mechanic employed by Clark Oil was killed when a fire erupted at a refinery when employees were replacing a valve on a machine at the plant. Personal injury lawyer and work place injury attorney Edward Willer represented the mechanic's estate and secured a $6 million settlement for the mechanic's wife and children.
A young man, 35 years old, suffered third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body when a 55-gallon drum which had previously contained Satin Cement Seal exploded as he approached it with an acetylene torch. He had emptied the barrel three days before and believed it to be dry. He was hospitalized for eight months and underwent seventeen skin grafting procedures. Partners David R. Barry, Jr. and Robert J. Bingle represented the young man and his wife in the $7.25 million settlement of their case against the Texas chemical company.
Two brothers were working at a grinding mill plant in Chicago pulverizing 20 tons of calcium stearate when the dust created by the process exploded. Both were thrown through a wall of the plant and severely burned. One brother sustained burns to more than half of his body. The company that ordered the pulverization failed to warn the workers that the dust from the calcium stearate was highly combustible. A jury awarded the brothers $6.2 million. Thomas A. Demetrio, named partner at Corboy & Demetrio, represented the brothers.
A 23-year-old young man, who was employed as an inspector, was testing the thickness of pipes at a refinery when one of the pipes broke and sprayed him with 770° oil. The hot liquid coated his entire person, from his helmet to his boots. He sustained second- and third-degree burns on 22 percent of his body, including his face, hands, and feet. The protective clothing he wore prevented the rest of his body from being burned. He was hospitalized for nearly a month and underwent several surgeries, including skin grafts. He was represented by Corboy & Demetrio partners, Robert J. Bingle and Shawn S. Kasserman, in the $4.5 million settlement.
$1.3 Million Recovered for Foreman in Explosion and Fire Case
A foreman for a fiber-optic crew, who was burned as a result of an explosion and fire, settled his case for $1.3 million. He was represented by Corboy & Demetrio attorneys, Michael K. Demetrio and Edward G. Willer. The fire and explosion occurred when the foreman attempted to open what he thought was a fiber-optic line but was a 750K triplex power line in a CATV labeled vault in McHenry County, Illinois. The foreman suffered second- and third-degree burns on portions of his arms, legs and face and was hospitalized at Loyola University Medical Center for 18 days.
Homeowners Recover $1 Million for Injured from Propane Gas Explosion
Homeowners, who lived in a rural location, used propane gas to heat their home. They had a 500 gallon tank that was filled on an as needed basis. One day they noticed that their tank was completely empty, even though the company was responsible for keeping the tank one-third full. They called their gas supplier to fill the tank, which the company did while the couple was at work. When the homeowners returned home and turned on a light switch, the entire house exploded. The husband sustained 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns on his face, neck, hands and arm. The wife sustained 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns to her face, hands and chest. The couple recovered $1 million and was represented by attorney Michael K. Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio.
For a free consultation with an experienced, skilled and successful personal injury lawyer from the Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio, call 312.346.3191. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.