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Employees Ban Together After Near Fatal Fiery Explosion

Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Roberto Luciano and Monique Aristazabal were working at the Blue Rhino propane cylinder refurbishing facility in Tavares, Fla. A huge explosion occurred on the night of July 29, 2013, resulting in second- and third-degree burns to over 35% of Roberto’s body. Monique saw Roberto as he was running from the flames and thought he was taking his clothes off, but instead, it was his skin falling off his body. Roberto was in a coma for more than one month, and then in a burn unit for a significant amount of time. He underwent multiple, painful, skin-grafting surgeries. He has also suffered almost complete blindness in his left eye due to his eye being burned from the explosion. Unfortunately, three other men were also horribly burned that night and a fourth man was struck by a car as he ran from the scene to save his life.

Taking On Worker’s Compensation Immunity

“The Florida legislature has made it extremely difficult for an employee to hold his employer liable for injuries that happen on the job,” said Coker Law partner Matthew Posgay. “It must be proven that the employer knew or should have known that an injury or death was virtually certain to occur.” This is known as Worker’s Compensation immunity. Fortunately, being involved in the case from the very beginning – and hiring multiple expert witnesses prior to a lawsuit being filed – allowed Coker Law to obtain the evidence needed to overcome Worker’s Compensation immunity, file a lawsuit and survive multiple motions to dismiss.  Referring attorney Ed Radloff provided additional assistance and support by staying involved with the case from start to finish. Finally, the brotherhood among the men who were severely burned and injured on that terrible night remained strong throughout the entire process.

Long, Tough and Expensive Battle

Coker Law’s ability to fight a long, tough and expensive battle is something many firms do not have the ability or the funds to do. There were significant costs involved to employ multiple expert witnesses, review thousands of pages of documents and search through and analyze evidence to support the case. Significant amounts of time were spent researching the complicated, legal issues in the case – all with no guarantee of success. The hurdle of overcoming Worker’s Compensation immunity did not deter the attorneys and staff at Coker Law from fighting for and recovering justice for this well-deserving family.  “Roberto and Monique are two of the hardest working, most positive people I have ever met,” explains Posgay.  “Despite the significant difficulties Roberto must face every day due to his injuries, he remains a loving and committed husband and father, always seeing the good that exists in the world.”

IF YOU’RE INJURED AS A RESULT OF NEGLIGENCE, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

If you or a loved one is injured or a family member is killed due to the negligence of others, Coker Law is there for you.  You may qualify to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries or wrongful death. To speak with a Coker Law personal injury attorney Matthew Posgay or for more information call (904) 356-6071 or click here to schedule a free consultation.

Case Title: Luciano v. Ferrellgas

Attorneys/Staff involved in case: Matthew Posgay, Denora Buben, Kim Heine, Howard Coker, Ed Radloff

Date of Settlement: June 2018

Amount of Settlement: Settled for a confidential amount