If you or someone you love has been injured in a boiler explosion, reach out to Burg Simpon, a national explosion law firm, to get your free consultation. We want to help you get any compensation you are entitled to.

Although boilers are a modern convenience, they are also dangerous and can lead to severe injuries and even death. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that roughly 30 people are killed every year due to leaking or exploding boilers.

At Burg Simpson, our boiler explosion lawyers are aggressive advocates for those injured or surviving relatives of boiler explosions. Our law firm is dedicated to ensuring that our injured clients collect full and fair financial compensation for their injuries and other damages. Call our personal injury lawyers today or fill out the contact form on our website to schedule your free, confidential case review.

Boilers Can Be Hazardous

An article published by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission states that around 30 people are killed and another 300 are seriously injured in boiler explosions every year nationwide.

Data shows that the gas valves installed on boilers stop working the way they are supposed to as time goes on. This can lead to the accumulation of carbon monoxide inside the apartment building, home, or other residences caused by a worn-out or malfunctioning pilot light.

A boiler explosion can be the result of a flaw in the boiler’s manufacturing process or design, incorrect installation, or poor maintenance. Modern boilers have been designed to heat commercial or household water to a safe degree while avoiding creating extra pressure that needs to be discharged via the boiler’s safety release valve.

There are a lot of reasons that a boiler might still reach dangerous pressure levels. If the system fails, it can cause bits of metal and scalding water to be projected in an explosion, which causes severe burns and other serious injuries to anyone in the area.

Electrical boilers need 220 volts of electricity, which is twice as much as a standard 110-volt outlet, to work properly and efficiently. In addition to this, the gas boiler needs a constant stream of propane or natural gas touched off by a pilot light. Even the smallest malfunction in either system can lead to a boiler fire or explosion in a commercial building or residence. These devices are usually enclosed, making it possible for serious problems to go unnoticed until it is too late.

Poor Maintenance, Installation, and Manufacturing

Companies that manufacture boilers are required to satisfy precise and detailed federal standards and guidelines during the assembly, build, and design of boilers. Additionally, plumbing installers must be licensed and certified as well as fulfill any legal obligations to make sure that each unit they install meets stringent manufacturing benchmarks.

When injuries or fatalities take place because of a boiler explosion or fire, all responsible persons will be held liable for any bodily injuries, property damage, and wrongful death.

Although a boiler explosion is often the result of excess pressure and heat that have built up inside the tank, there are multiple factors that can lead to an exploding boiler, such as:

  • Manufacturing Flaws: Design defects or flaws that occur in the manufacturing process can result in a serious fire or explosion in a commercial or residential property. A boiler explosion could lead to severe burn injuries and even wrongful death. Additionally, a flaw or defect could go undetected for years. This would create an unsuitable and dangerous level of pressure as well as the possibility of an explosion if the pressure is unable to be released through boiler’s the safety valve.
  • Incorrect Installation: Serious injuries and deaths can also take place during a boiler fire or explosion if the contractor who installs the device sets the heater near combustible materials or a volatile heat source. On top of this, a maintenance technician or installation contractor could be legally liable if they modified the way the safety valve or relief valve works.
  • Poor or Lack of Maintenance: Depending on several different factors, a good boiler can last between 10 and 15 years. These units involve water flowing through metal so it is no surprise that they corrode over time. Leaks and rust are both problems that are commonly observed in older boilers, especially if the owner has failed to inspect the unit and address its needs. As they get older, the electrical heating elements or gas burners tend to fail, resulting in water that is not hot enough. Unfortunately, most owners do not notice this until the unit is too far gone, and a tiny leak causes a serious boiler explosion.
  • Leaks and Corrosion: When boilers age, they are a lot more vulnerable to corrosion and leaks, as mentioned above. When a unit is not adequately maintained by a licensed repair person, corrosion, rust, and leaky valves can easily happen. This could cause the home to flood or allow an excessive degree of pressure to build up in the boiler, resulting in an explosion. In the absence of properly installed and functioning controls and safety devices, a boiler is prone to catastrophic blasts that cause significant damage, serious injuries, or fatalities.
  • Hard Water: Most people have heard of or may even be living with hard water. Hard water occurs when it contains too much magnesium and calcium. These minerals can have an effect on certain appliances because their deposits can obstruct the unit’s anode over time. Eventually, water will stream through the anode, causing it to weaken and disintegrate, leading to hot water leakage. When the owner notices the issue beginning to happen to their boiler, they can stop any additional damage from occurring by having it replaced by a properly licensed and certified technician before the problem becomes critical.
  • Electrical Failures: When electrical failures happen, a boiler's heating element burns out, meaning it is no longer heating the water. Since the unit is still pressurized, however, this causes the pressure to build up because there is no place for the surplus steam and heat to escape through. Anything that could potentially emit a spark can trigger an explosion, which will lead to heavy property damage and severe injuries due to the unreleased pressure.
  • Gas Line Failures: If there is an issue with the gas line, boilers that heat up by using gas are subject to the same build-up of pressure as boilers that are heated using electricity. If natural gas from an outside source, such as a leaking gas line or other appliance, makes contact with a boiler, it can result in a spark that will ignite an explosion.
  • Incorrect Use: Gas boilers need routine maintenance, such as cleaning out the burner compartment, which only a licensed repairman or contractor should perform. If the owner neglects this basic task, carbon monoxide, which is volatile and potentially explosive, could develop. It only takes a single, tiny spark from a pilot light to create a massive explosion due to the high volume of gas that is in the air.
  • Poor Ventilation: Anytime a gas or electric boiler is installed in an enclosed area, heat build-up is a source of potential problems. If the area is not properly ventilated, then nearby areas can become too hot and could potentially start a fire. If this issue is not addressed, it could result in an explosion.
  • Poor Drainage: Boilers can only discharge hot water out of their drain valve. Drain valves need to be used frequently and kept free of any debris. In the event that the drain line does become blocked with debris or a contractor chooses not to include a clean-out plug so it is easier for them to access the line and make repairs, it can cause an explosion because there is nowhere for the gas and steam to disperse.
  • Basic Wear and Tear: Just like any other appliance you have in your home, boilers wear out over time. Certain units, particularly electric units that are over a decade old, need to be replaced in order to prevent any potential explosions or leaks caused by build-up and corrosion.

Common Injuries Caused by Boiler Explosions

When a residential or commercial boiler explodes, anyone nearby can sustain serious injuries or even death. Boiler explosion victims are also vulnerable to fire as well as fragments of the boiler that are propelled into nearby areas.

For example, if a boiler is installed in someone’s garage, they could be hit and injured by shrapnel from objects in the immediate area, such as garden tools, vehicle debris, lawn furniture, and paint cans. The force of the impact generated by these heavy objects can lead to broken bones, deep lacerations, contusions, amputations, concussions, and brain injuries.

As if that wasn’t enough, boiler explosion victims often sustain terrible burn injuries caused by contact with the excess steam or scalding water that spews about during a boiler explosion. Burns can range from very mild to critical, depending on the person’s proximity to the boiler when the explosion occurs.

The majority of those injured in a boiler explosion sustain shrapnel injuries and 3rd or 4th-degree burns that leave them permanently scarred or disfigured. Many other people endure damage to their internal organs, internal bleeding, and broken bones after being thrown by the blast.

Although rare, the force of a blast impact can also result in fatalities. The explosion can cause nearby structures to collapse or trigger additional explosions in the immediate area. Those who do not seek immediate medical attention are at risk of dying from their blast injuries.

Some of the most common boiler explosion injuries are:

  • 3rd and 4th-degree burns
  • Blinding
  • Scalding
  • Facial lacerations and scarring
  • Traumatic brain injuries and other forms of head trauma
  • Irreparable nerve damage
  • Traumatic amputations, particularly toes and fingers

Given the extent and severity of the injuries listed above, people are often left with permanent disabilities. While a broken bone or a concussion will heal in time, injuries such as amputations, blindness, brain damage, hearing loss, respiratory problems, and many other conditions will require ongoing medical treatments and care along with months or even years of physical rehabilitation.

Who is Liable for My Boiler Explosion Injury?

During our years of practicing law, we have learned that most people injured in boiler explosions have no idea who might be liable for the explosion and don’t know who to sue in order to seek compensation.

The most frequent causes of boiler explosions are faulty parts, improper installation, and a lack of maintenance. Determining who was responsible for those various factors can lead you to the liable party for your accident. Based on the circumstances of your accident, the installer, manufacturer, local contractor, landlord, or building owner could be responsible for your boiler explosion injuries.

Although some people choose to accept a settlement without ever bringing a personal injury claim, most decide to file a boiler explosion lawsuit against any possible defendant who could be liable for causing the boiler explosion and subsequent injuries and damages. This is because most initial settlements offered will be entirely too low to cover the full cost of medical bills and other losses sustained by the injured person.

What Damages Am I Entitled to for My Boiler Explosion Injury?

If you were injured or lost a family member due to a boiler explosion, you, or a surviving relative are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim against any party or entity involved in the incident.

Possible defendants include the manufacturer of the boiler, the person or company that installed the boiler, or another party that was involved in the negligence. The more liable parties you can name in your lawsuit, the better chance you have of receiving a sizeable settlement or award.

The damages that are designed to compensate boiler explosion victims will vary depending on the facts of each individual case, but by and large tend to include:

  • Hospitalization expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Future lost income/Reduced earning capacity
  • Permanent or temporary disabilities
  • Emotional trauma
  • Funeral costs and burial or cremation costs in cases of wrongful death
  • Loss of fellowship and guidance
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Pain, suffering, and inconvenience

Surviving family members of someone who died in a boiler explosion may be entitled to additional compensation if they lost the significant financial contributions or family services made to the household by the deceased person. This would be a wrongful death lawsuit and we do have attorneys who can assist you with filing that.

Call the Boiler Explosion Attorneys at Burg Simpson Today

If you were involved in a boiler explosion and sustained serious injuries, damage to your property, or your family member unfortunately experienced wrongful death, we strongly urge you to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to obtain full and fair financial compensation. The boiler explosion lawyers at the law firm of Burg Simpson have been representing boiler explosion and fire injury cases for decades.

Our product liability lawyers can help you file a lawsuit or an insurance claim to secure maximum compensation for your injuries and other damages as well as any pain or suffering you endured as a direct result of your boiler explosion.

Call the national law firm of Burg Simpson at (888) 895-2080 to schedule a free case review.
Burg Simpson is a prestigious national law firm helping clients across the United States.  With over 100 years of combined experience, our team stands ready to represent you and make certain you receive the compensation you deserve
All content Copyright 2024 © Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C.
phone-handset linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram