June 9, 2021 — A jury in Texas awarded $222 million to the family of a power plant repairman who was scalded to death by super-heated steam.
The verdict was awarded to the widow of a man who died in a horrific steam accident at Evergy’s Jeffrey Energy Center power plant in 2018.
The coal-fired power plant creates electricity by using superheated steam to turn turbine generators.
Team Industrial Services Inc. was supposed to rebuild parts for 3 turbines, but when one of the turbines failed to come up to full power, two repairmen were sent to investigate.
The two men took the elevator up to the 14th floor of the plant. When the elevator doors opened, they were both engulfed in superheated steam that had leaked from a valve that was improperly rebuilt by Team Industrial Services.
“Upon the elevator door opening on the 14th floor, (the men were) engulfed in flesh boiling steam that had filled the room,” according to the wrongful death lawsuit. “‘[He] was exposed to the steam release and suffered severe burns that caused him to endure a horrific death.”
Team Industrial Services was found 90% responsible for the deaths of two repairmen. The power plant was located in Topeka, Kansas, but the lawsuit went to trial in Texas because Team is based in the state.
The lawsuit was filed in the District Court of Fort Bend County, Texas — Case Number 18-DCV-256883.
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