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Time Was On Her Side

ConAgra Foods was recently hit with an almost $180 million verdict in a case involving three workers who were injured in a silo explosion in southern Illinois.

The evidence showed the silo was supposed to be cleaned annually, but had not been cleaned in 25 years. Regular cleaning is important, because it prevents a buildup of flammable materials that can catch fire-which is just what happened.

Weeks before the explosion, ConAgra got a bid to clean the silo, but was seeking a better price. E-mails showed workers at the silo sent multiple warnings to their bosses about the danger, with no response. Weeks later, when the cleanup began, it was too late. The silo burst into flames just before the fire department was called and three workers were horribly burned.

Unimpressed by ConAgra's lack of response and its apparent desire to put profits ahead of safety, the jury found ConAgra largely responsible for the injuries. It awarded the workers almost $80 million for their injuries, and another $100 million in punitive damages to punish ConAgra. Some jurors wanted to award as much as $500 million.

This harm could have been avoided. Maybe next time ConAgra will act faster to maintain its facilities.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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