Federal jury faults ConAgra, awards $180.8M to 3 men hurt in Illinois grain elevator blast
In this April 27, 2010 file photo, an aerial truck pumps water to the grain silos to prevent a secondary explosion at the ConAgra-owned grain plant in Chester, Ill. On Friday, June 1, 2012, a federal jury in East St. Louis, Ill., sided against ConAgra Foods Inc. and a contractor in awarding $180.8 million in damages to three men injured in the explosion. The Southern Illinoisan, Chuck Novara, File/Associated Press
John Jentz, who was severely injured in the 2010 explosion at ConAgra in Chester, spoke to the press Monday morning along with his lawyers. Jentz suffered burns over 70-percent of his body after the explosion.
A federal jury sided against ConAgra Foods Inc. and a subcontractor Friday in awarding roughly $181 million in damages to three workers severely injured in a 2010 explosion at a southern Illinois grain elevator.
According to the lawsuit, the victims were removing equipment from a concrete grain bin at ConAgra’s flour-milling site in the Mississippi River city of Chester, about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis, on April 27, 2010, when that bin exploded into flames.
The men’s attorneys argued the bin had not been properly cleaned in nearly two decades and despite an unusual odor, smoke and unusually high temperatures in it, ConAgra failed to properly instruct the workers about precautions that may have averted the explosion.
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