Workplace Injury

Fatal Power Plant Lawsuit Settles for $2.6 Million

The estate of an electrical worker, who was killed inside a power plant’s condenser-unite fan that switched on while he was servicing it, agreed to accept a $2.6 million settlement from the operators of the plant. The estates attorney, Peter Chamas of Gill and Chamas in Woodbridge, gave this account of the accident: The plaintiff, 42, was employed by a company which provided maintenance services. The plaintiff and his floor man asked the defendant to lock out and tag out two fans on which they were about to provide maintenance, de-energizing the 30 foot fans to keep them from automatically turning on, as they were programmed to do in response to temperature fluctuations. The employees locked out and tagged two fans but one of these was the wrong fan, leaving one of the fans to be serviced still active. The plaintiff serviced the fan without mishap. While descending a ladder into the cell of the second fan that had not been locked and tagged out, the fan turned on, striking the ladder knocking it out from under the plaintiff and leaving him suspended from a harness. The fan bladed the severed the rope attached to the harness, causing the plaintiff to fall 85 feet where he died on the spot from massive head injuries.

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