January 4, 2012
Plaintiff was a carpenter who had installed a propane stove on Defendant's farm. He had gone home for the evening and was called back to the work site by the defendant's manager who was unable to light the stove after having filled the propane tank.
The defendant's manager represented he had turned off the gas and opened the windows of the trailer. Plaintiff stuck a match in an effort to light the stove with the explosion resulting. In fact, the propane had been left on and emptied into the kitchen area creating an explosive environment.
The Jury verdict was for $3,700,000 in general and special damages, which was reduced for the comparative negligence of the carpenter in lighting the match. Sixty percent of the negligence was placed upon the defendant's property manager for creating the explosive environment and not warning the carpenter.
The plaintiff suffered second degree burns over 70% of his body with third degree burns localized over his feet and ankles.