A very scary situation developed at a waste treatment plant operated by New England Fertilizer Company (“NEFCO”) last week when a large explosion sent shrapnel and debris flying through the air. According to the Palm Beach Post, at the time of the explosion there were a total of three employees working on the site. One worker, a man named Matt Eggley who has been employed by NEFCO as a chief operator for about a year and a half, was injured in the blast. He was taken to a local hospital where he is being treated for his injuries; fortunately, doctors expect him to make a full recovery.
In the aftermath of the blast, police and other investigators are trying to determine what caused the plant explosion. The waste treatment plant where the incident occurred is a plant that takes byproducts from waste water treatment plants and processes it into a form that can be used in the manufacture of plant fertilizer. Eggley and the other two employees who were on-site were performing a routine maintenance and cleaning procedure, but authorities have yet to determine whether that procedure was a contributing factor in the explosion.
As our Boynton Beach personal injury attorney has learned from years of experience with many different accident cases, injuries caused by situations like this one can be some of the most difficult to deal with because it is so difficult to understand why they happened. When someone is injured, he or she often feels a sense of unfairness and questions why it had to be him or her. This can happen even with common situations, such as car accident injuries. in cases like Matt Eggley’s, where a workplace injury occurs unexpectedly and without an apparent cause, it can be even more difficult to understand. Victims often suffer from emotional distress after accidents like this one because they have to learn to cope with senseless injuries that they, naturally, feel should not have happened.
Our Palm Beach injury attorney understands that it will take some time for the authorities to complete their investigation and figure out what caused the explosion. Hopefully, the source can be determined and precautions can be taken to ensure that this does not occur in the future. However, in cases like this one, even if the cause cannot be precisely defined, plaintiffs like Matt Eggley do still have options.
Under Florida negligence law, courts will allow what’s called a presumption of negligence in a case using the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin phrase that means “the thing speaks for itself.” The idea behind it is that certain things simply do not happen without negligence, so even if the exact nature of the negligence cannot be identified, the very fact that the incident occurred shows that there was negligence. Defendants still have an opportunity to refute the claim of negligence, but the presumption makes it easier for a plaintiff to get compensation for his or her injuries and also makes it more difficult for businesses to avoid liability on a technicality.
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