Plant and Utility Explosion
We represented a world-wide food products manufacturer, in a class action case relating to the explosion of a sewer line in Louisville. Hexane, a hydrocarbon we used to extract oil from soybeans, was released into the sewer line and was ignited, generating an explosion that covered approximately six miles. The plaintiffs, including several businesses near the explosion area, claimed $300 million in damages for property damage and loss of business income resulting from the explosion. There were also criminal charges leveled against our client relating to the presence of hexane in the sewer pipeline. After providing testimony from roughly 35 expert and technical witnesses during the pre-trial phase, we went to trial in federal court, and eventually reached a favorable settlement with both the class action plaintiffs and the city, who had claimed approximately $28 million to recoup their costs in securing and repairing the explosion area. We also handled the criminal charges, working with our client to ensure that environmental regulations were complied with following the explosion and reconstruction process.