ST. LOUIS — Plaintiffs in a lawsuit over a boiler explosion that killed four people in 2017 have announced settlements totaling $47.2 million in a lawsuit against several companies.
The Simon Law Firm said in a news release that it has negotiated a settlement last month during mediation in advance of a trial that had been scheduled before St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Noble.
The April 3, 2017, explosion inside the Loy-Lange Box Co. plant killed Kenneth Trentham, 59, of St. Louis, who was working there.
The 1-ton tank rocketed through the roof, crashing more than 10 seconds later through the roof of Faultless Healthcare Linen Co. 520 feet away, according to an investigative report issued by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
Christopher Watkins, Tonya Gonzalez-Suarez and Clifford Lee were fatally injured at Faultless Healthcare Linen.
The chemical safety board has said the explosion was caused by a failure related to an emergency repair in 2012. The report said Loy-Lange never obtained a permit for the repair nor acted on a recommendation for a solution, and the city didn’t inspect the unit.
Lawyers for the victims’ families blamed “a prolonged series of errors” that included deficient repairs. The more than 15 plaintiffs alleged that Loy-Lange failed to to properly maintain, inspect, repair or test the steam tank and failed to employ qualified workers, train them or have appropriate safety procedures.
The consolidated lawsuit filed in St. Louis Circuit Court was sealed by the judge in late June at the request of the parties. The lawsuit remains invisible to the public.
According to the Simon Law Firm, California-based Clayton Industries, which designed the tank, paid $21 million of the settlement; Arise Inc. of Cleveland settled for $17.5 million; Loy-Lange paid $4 million; the Aquacomp Water Treatment Services Co. of St. Charles settled for $2 million; Chicago Boiler Company of Gurnee, Illinois, the boiler maker, paid $2 million and the Kickham Boiler Engineering firm that repaired the boiler in 2012 settled for $728,000.