Explosions can happen in an instant and can cause significant personal injury, wrongful death, and hardship to those involved. Furthermore, they can cause catastrophic damage to life and property and can be emotionally devastating to the survivors, witnesses, and families of the victims. The most common causes of explosions are the negligence of a contractor or a defective design in the equipment or other product. Regardless of the cause, the effects are often catastrophic.
Olga Galdamez and her daughter, Jaylin Landaverry, operated the La Parrillada Chapino food truck in Philadelphia. The mother and daughter were aboard the food truck last year when the truck’s two 100-pound propane tanks exploded, causing a fire to engulf the entire street and shrapnel to fly approximately 95 feet in the air. A total of 11 people were injured; unfortunately, Galdamez and Landaverry died from their injuries. Philadelphia’s Fire Marshal determined that the faulty tanks caused the gas to leak into the food truck and ignite.
According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, a relative of the women has filed a lawsuit against U-Haul, the company that regularly refilled the propane tanks, and Eri Vending Cart Inc., the company responsible for designing and installing the kitchen in the food truck. Friends of Galdamez would regularly refill the propane tanks at two different U-Haul locations in Philadelphia. The lawsuit alleges that the two propane tanks were not properly inspected. In addition, the complaint alleges that because the tanks were aging and damaged, the U-Haul employees should have never refilled them. U-Haul is required to inspect the tanks and make sure they are in good condition before refilling. Furthermore, they are required to ensure that the valve design is current. The lawsuit alleges that U-Haul employees did none of these checks. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia County, seeks damages in excess of $50,000.