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Pork Plant Explosion

St. Joseph, MO: (Feb-25-08) Several lawsuits were brought against plumbing contractor IHP Industrial of St. Joseph, Triumph Foods, construction management firm Epstein and Sons, and Southern Union Co., the parent company of Missouri Gas Energy (MGE), after a 2005 natural gas explosion ripped through a pork processing plant, killing one person and injuring several others. Court records show that the lawsuits claimed the companies were negligent in failing to follow procedural safeguards that could have prevented the explosion.

Melinda Fisher, mother of Andrew Bauer, 24, of Stewartsville, the masonry worker killed in the explosion, brought a wrongful death lawsuit and settled in November 2007 for $2.25 million. In that settlement, IHP was responsible for paying $1.5 million. Triumph, Epstein and Sons and MGE were responsible for paying $250,000 each. Sources stated that injured worker Theo Jeurissen settled his claim for $3.5 million, of which IHP was to pay $1.92 million, Triumph $350,000, Epstein and Sons $787,500, and MGE $437,500. Brad and Catherine Smith settled for $3 million, with IHP paying $1.65 million, Triumph $300,000, Epstein and Sons $675,000, and MGE $375,500. Terry Younger settled for $2.5 million, with IHP paying $1.37 million, Triumph paying $250,000, Epstein and Sons paying $562,500, and MGE paying $312,500.

Apart from these, court officials stated that another 16 plaintiffs settled for $1 million they would divide. Totally, company spokespersons claimed that they have paid out settlements nearing $12.3 million. Triumph, meanwhile, has lawsuits pending in Jackson County Circuit Court, mostly against insurance companies, trying to recoup damages from the explosion. [YAHOO: PORK PLANT EXPLOSION]

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Published on Feb-26-08


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