A food service employee working at a private school filed suit against the school, alleging that he suffered personal injuries when a steam boiler spewed excess steam onto his foot and ankle, causing him to suffer second and third degree burns.
The 34-year-old New Jersey man was the managing chef for a company that provided food to the private school. He claimed the burns caused him to develop a neurological pain disorder known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).
The plaintiff alleged negligence on the part of the school for failure to properly maintain the boiler over an extended period, which caused an excessive build-up of “scale” which caused the water from the previous day to be unable to properly drain. He also alleged the boiler was defectively designed and should have incorporated a system that would channel excess water out of the boiler when the water level probe sensed a dangerous build-up.
The plaintiff alleged that the RSD caused him to require some 24 epidural injections performed under anesthesia which only provided him with temporary relief. He claims that after undergoing the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator, he will be afforded some relief, but will still suffer extensive pain permanently.
The man’s attorneys said that not only was the equipment faulty, the school did not provide proper maintenance. A settlement for $600,000 was reached was the manufacturer months before trial. The school settled for $1,800,000, making his total recovery $2,400,000.