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Man files wrongful death lawsuit after fatal Florida explosion

A man is accusing several parties of negligence that lead to the death of his wife in a Florida hyperbaric chamber explosion in early 2012. He has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the equine facility where the explosion took place and the companies responsible for the use of hyperbaric chambers in such facilities. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages compensating him for the loss of his wife's income, her funeral costs and the pain and suffering caused by her death.

The fatal accident at the center of the case occurred as the 28-year-old victim was trying to treat a horse using the hyperbaric chamber when the animal kicked open a protective cover in agitation, revealing a piece of metal. The horse continued kicking, eventually causing its steel horseshoe to strike the exposed metal and cause a spark that caused the chamber to violently explode. Both the woman and the horse died in the explosion, while a 33-year-old observer was injured. The local sheriff's office ruled the explosion an accident after a week-long investigation.

The lawsuit alleges that the equine facility learned of a defect in the hyperbaric chambers but continued to use it while it awaited repairs, even though it should have known doing so was dangerous. Additionally, the plaintiff accuses the two companies responsible for the adoption of hyperbaric chambers in such facilities of failing to design their equine hyperbaric chambers "in accordance with established industry standards" and asserts that the chamber's manufacturer failed to perform tests to establish "the circumstances under which its equine hyperbaric chambers and the subject chamber were likely to catch fire and explode."

The equine facility where the accident occurred issued a response to the lawsuit in which it claimed that the victim's actions were the sole cause of the explosion. It also argued that it had no knowledge of the defect and was under no obligation to warn the victims of the defect had it been aware of it.

Source: Ocala.com, "Spouse of woman who perished in explosion files suit," Vishal Persaud, Nov. 5, 2012

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