Connecticut Supreme Court again denies claims by victims of Kleen Energy explosion, likely closing decade of litigation over deadly power plant accident
- Jan 5, 2022 8:52 pm GMT
It is the second loss at the state’s high court for the workers and families of workers seeking compensation for serious injury and death when an explosion heard for 30 miles destroyed the gas -powered, electric generation plant on the
Lawyers following the case said the court’s little-noticed, decision, released late on
“Although we respect the Supreme Court’s decision, on behalf of our clients, we are deeply disappointed by the result,” said
Those victims sued
Years of post-mortems on the explosion agree that the gas blow was the cause of the explosion that shattered windows and cracked foundations of houses for miles around. There were 2,000 feet of piping to be cleared at the plant and the blow was to be done over two days in stages that corresponded to eight discharge nozzles.
According to the unanimous
During one of the final gas blows late in the morning of
Investigators determined that, before the explosion, enough gas had been pumped into the courtyard to fill a basketball arena and power a typical home every day for 25 years
“After the debris was expelled from the discharge nozzle, it struck the small metal pipes located in the courtyard, acquiring heat from the glancing blow,” the court said in its decision. “The heated debris was then carried by the discharge exhaust into the partially enclosed area, where natural gas had been trapped from the prior gas blow. The heated debris ignited the accumulated natural gas and oxygen.”
There was evidence before the court that gas blows had been common practice in power plant construction since World War II and were used in 60 to 70 percent of gas power plants built over the last 25 years. There was an effort by one regulatory agency to ban gas blows following the Kleen explosion, but it was overruled.
The victims had sued O&G years earlier, but lost that case at the state
The court also rejected the victim’s argument that Kleen and its agent were vicariously negligent because they had control over the gas blow. The victims’ made two additional negligence claims that the court declined to consider.
Messages seeking comment were left with representatives of Kleen and O & G.
Victims of the explosion have been compensated in other ways over the last decade. There were mediated settlements, workers comp payments and agreements with subcontractors on the project.
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