It’s been more than a year since “Marina” (not a real person) lost her husband, Dan, and she still doesn’t know why.
Dan had been working at the metal recycling plant from the time it had opened. The job fair the company held after it announced the new facility had attracted more than 1,000 applicants; Dan had been one of the roughly 100 people selected for full- or part-time positions. After nine years on the job, he still considered himself lucky.
Dan worked near a huge grinding mill that pulverized scrap titanium and zirconium into a fine rubble. Dan’s job was to take those ground up particles of titanium and zirconium and process them into puck-like discs using a custom-made machine. Those discs were then purchased by aluminum producers, who used them to make aluminum alloys that went into everything from automobile chassis to rain gutters.
It was a dirty job requiring eye goggles and breathing masks, because nobody wants tiny metal dust particles accumulating in their bodies. For the most part, though, Dan had come to think of the job as pretty safe.
Marina heard about the explosion about an hour after it had happened; Dan was already on his way to the hospital. One of Dan’s colleagues, who had been operating the grinding machine, was killed instantly, and he may have been the lucky one. Dan, somehow still clinging to life, hung on in the trauma unit for several days before finally succumbing to his injuries.
The team of regulators and safety experts who investigated the explosion that took Dan’s life have told Marina that the exact cause of the blast may never be identified. What was obvious, however, was that the conditions that facilitated an explosion should never have been allowed to develop. Guidelines and rules that were intended to prevent the situation had been ignored for years; they might never have been followed at all.
Thousands of drums containing ground titanium and zirconium scrap were improperly stored at the plant, only yards away from Dan’s workstation. Like all metals, titanium and zirconium gradually oxidize when in contact with the air. As they oxidize, they produce highly flammable hydrogen gas. Once enough hydrogen gas had built up in a particular area, just about anything could have ignited it. Eventually, something did. The hydrogen explosion, in turn, was hot enough to ignite the scrap metal itself. When the plant’s fire suppression system activated, it sprayed water on the burning metal, accelerating the oxidation process and generating still more flammable hydrogen gas.
Marina’s attorney evaluated the facts and took the case, but said there was no telling when she might see any money from the company. They had thus far refused to settle, and a trial date was more than two years in the future. In the meantime, Marina had been forced to take a second job to cover her family’s expenses. Her lawyer recommended that she call USClaims.
At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding, if a case is qualified for pre-settlement funding then we would purchase a portion of the proceeds of the anticipated court judgment or settlement for some cash now. USClaims only gets paid if a case is won or has reached a settlement! Apply now or call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn more.