$775,000 Settlement for Propane Explosion

Blume Donnelly partner Mitchell J. Makowicz, Jr. represented a man who was a tenant of an apartment complex in central New Jersey. The man entered one of the laundry rooms provided by the complex so that he could move his freshly washed clothes into two dryers. As he activated the dryers and turned to exit, the laundry building suddenly exploded. The force of the impact forced our client to the ground, though he was able to make his way from the burning building. The man sustained serious back injuries, resulting in surgical intervention. He was left permanently disabled from his employment as an ironworker. Investigation disclosed that the explosion was caused by the release of fugitive propane vapor, which, when mixed with oxygen in the proper concentration, became highly combustible. Despite the official investigation by the town being inconclusive as to the cause of the fire, a claim was brought implicating all of the potentially liable entities involved in the design, fabrication, installation, manufacture, inspection, maintenance and repair of the propane system within the building. Mitchell J. Makowicz, Jr. settled this case following mediation for $775,000.