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Case Summary

On April 3, 2017, a 3,000-pound pressurized steam container violently exploded at the Loy Lange Box Company facility on Russell Avenue in the historic neighborhood of Soulard in St. Louis. The container flew 500 feet through the air before crashing into the Faultless Linen facility. One person was killed and two were injured at Loy Lange, and three more were killed and another injured at Faultless Linen. Lawsuits filed by those injured and the families of those killed were consolidated, and after two years of litigation, a settlement of slightly over $47 million was awarded to the plaintiffs.

Key Highlights

  • Numerous, preventable errors were determined as contributing to the boiler explosion, killing a total of four individuals and seriously injuring three others.
  • Over a dozen victims were represented in the case and were awarded as part of the consolidated settlement of $47 million.
  • Six different companies were held accountable and settled with the plaintiffs during a two-day mediation and immediately following.

St. Louis Boiler Explosion: Case Analysis

This tragedy resulted from a prolonged series of errors by the various defendants in the case, beginning with the failure of the designer and manufacturer to include a corrosion allowance on the pressure vessel. In the months following the explosion, an investigative report issued by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board listed tank corrosion as the cause of the incident, but a whistleblower came forward and stated that the Loy-Lange Company had not followed proper steps when installing the tank.

Inadequate water chemistry treatment, blowdowns to remove sediment, and inspections by the vessel’s owner and outside consultants during the life of the vessel ultimately led to excessive corrosion. Additionally, a deficient repair of the leaking vessel four years earlier by an outside company left defective, corroded material in place.

Lawsuits filed by those injured and the families of those killed were consolidated, and the Simon Law Firm represented one of the injured victims and the family of one of those killed.

Boiler Explosion Case Outcome and Impact

After two years of extensive litigation, which included over 75 depositions and over 20 experts, a settlement of slightly over $47 million was reached on behalf of all plaintiff lawsuits with the defendants, which included four wrongful death suits, three personal injury cases and two property damage cases.

Settlements were determined during mediation with the plaintiffs and Kickham Boiler and Engineering, Chicago Boiler Company, Aquacomp Water Treatment Services, Loy-Lange, and Arise Incorporated. Following mediation, plaintiffs also settled with Clayton Industries.

Each of the defendants paid the following:

  • Kickham Boiler and Engineering: $728,000
  • Chicago Boiler Company: $2,000,000
  • Aquacomp Water Treatment Services: $2,000,000
  • Loy-Lange: $4,000,000
  • Arise Incorporated: $17,500,000
  • Clayton Industries: $21,000,000

Additional Case Information

For media inquiries or more information, contact Tim Cronin at the Simon Law Firm.

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