Wacker employee sues manufacturer for $5 million after September 2017 explosion
One year to the day that an explosion rocked the Wacker chemical plant, an employee is suing the company behind the equipment the complaint says failed, leading to the explosion and his permanent injuries.
This is a $5 million dollar lawsuit on behalf of Andrew Gott, a Wacker employee who claims to have been “ the closest Wacker employee to this horrific explosion.”
As for the accident itself, the suit states that a piston broke and came through the head of a compressor, even bursting through concrete walls of the room surrounding it. The failure ignited hydrogen, resulting in a “horrific fireball felt several miles away.”
The complaint isn't against Wacker, however, but Burkhardt Compression. Gott's attorney says the company designed and provided a piston that broke.
The lawsuit says "the explosion & shockwaves hit him & burned him," and that ever since, he has been unable to go back to work. The lawsuit is also on behalf of Joann Gott, who cites damages beyond those of her husband Andrew.
Tennova Hospital said a year ago that it treated a total of 13 patients after the incident.
This July, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) issued its report on the September 7th, 2017 explosion. TDEC's report concluded that the accident was caused by "an unavoidable failure of process equipment."
We've reached out to both Wacker & Burkhardt Compression for comment on this lawsuit.
Wacker responded with the following statement:
"WACKER takes seriously its responsibility for the safety of its team members and the community. As we have moved through the process of restarting operations at the Charleston site, we have actively engaged our employees and the community to address any safety-related questions and to solicit feedback. While we are not a party to Mr. Gott’s lawsuit, we respect the right for Mr. Gott to pursue redress as appropriate under the law. Nonetheless, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on any potential litigation between Mr. Gott and a third party."
Depend on us to keep you posted as we learn more.
You can read the full lawsuit below: (Reading this on our mobile app? Tap here to open a new tab and read the lawsuit.)