$605,000 Settlement / Appellate Division Decision for Unsafe Work Environment / Explosion

Jeffrey J. Zenna recently settled a claim on behalf of a self-employed floor finisher who received serious burn injuries stemming from an explosion in an apartment building. The defendants blamed our client for the explosion which occurred as a result of the flames from a hot water heater igniting the lacquer applied to the floor. Mr. Zenna asserted that it was the management company and the owner of the building that had the responsibility to ensure that the gas in the building was turned off, that our client was provided with a safe work environment. The case was initially dismissed by the trial court, finding that the owners of the building could not be held responsible for plaintiffs injuries. Mr. Zenna filed an appeal with the NJ Appellate Division and convinced the higher court that the claim had been dismissed in error, that the owner of the property had a duty to plaintiff, and, that they were to be held vicariously liable for the negligence of the property manager. The case was reinstated, and Mr. Zenna was successful in recovering 605k.