Lorena Garcia is the widow of Reyes Garcia. He was killed in a 2007 explosion across an oil and gas operation, located east of Greeley, Colorado, that resulted in third degree burns to over 85 percent of his body.
Reyes’ injuries placed him in critical condition in a burn unit for several weeks. He eventually took his own life. A jury recently found that Schneider Energy Service, the company in charge of operations at the well site, and William Smith, Schneider’s head of operations at the site, were negligent in the site setup, and that their negligence caused the explosion.
According to Lorena, her husband, Reyes, was “a romantic who could put every other guy to shame,” which has made the years since the explosion and his death “almost unbearable.” The explosion occurred while Reyes was working at a pump, that was placed too close to a piece of machinery called a gas buster, and when his crew encountered a large pocket of gas. The gas pocket was ignited as a result of the close proximity to the gas buster, and Reyes was engulfed in the resulting explosion. The jury determined that the explosion would not have occurred if the gas buster had been the mandated 100 yards away from the gas pump. As a result, the jury awarded Lorena Garcia $4.5 million in economic damages, and $2 million for her pain and suffering.
While the jury award is substantial, Garcia will still have to spend more time in court, as a judge will now weigh the defendants’ argument that the award was too large for the damages that resulted from their negligence. Garcia plans to use the award to buy a house for Reyes’ parents. While she is pleased with the monetary award from the jury, she says: “the money isn’t nearly as important as ensuring that safety protocols in the fields are up to par, so no other family has to endure the grief and struggle I have for the past seven years.”
Negligence in site setups on job sites, where flammable materials are present, can cause serious explosions, which can result in serious personal injuries or even death. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a Massachusetts explosion accident, and would like to find out whether you have a viable legal claim for personal injury damages or wrongful death damages, please call 617-787-3700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to speak with an expert Massachusetts explosion accident lawyer, Boston, MA accident injury attorney or Massachusetts wrongful death attorney.
If you would like to talk to an expert in Massachusetts personal injury law, call 617-787-3700 for a free, confidential consultation with one of our highly skilled, Massachusetts burn injury lawyers, Boston personal injury lawyers or Boston, MA wrongful death lawyers.
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