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Who is liable when an explosion goes off in the workplace?



The workers sued SCA for negligence, gross negligence, and premises liability. They asked for damages of over $1 million, including compensatory, actual, consequential, and exemplary damages and recovery for pain and suffering, past and future mental anguish, past and future impairment, and past and future disfigurement.

Read more: Employee who contracted typhus seeks workers’ compensation from City of Los Angeles

The workers claimed that SCA created an unreasonably dangerous condition that proximately caused their injuries. SCA allegedly breached the following duties:

  • to warn them of the plant’s dangerous conditions
  • to exercise reasonable care to guard against known and foreseeable hazards
  • to provide a safe work environment
  • to protect workers from fire or explosion
  • to adequately train its employees
  • to sufficiently develop and implement appropriate policies and procedures
  • to adequately supervise its personnel
  • to timely recognize an emergency or hazardous situation
  • to provide adequate first aid and assistance

The workers’ claim for premises liability alleged that SCA owned, occupied, or controlled the area where the injuries occurred and knew that the area posed an unreasonably dangerous condition or an unreasonable risk of harm.

SCA filed a summary judgment motion. No evidence supported the workers’ negligence, gross negligence, and premises liability claims, SCA argued. It asserted that it should not be a party to the workers’ lawsuit, that it did not own or operate the plant where the injuries occurred, and that it was not involved in the alleged incident.

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