University of Utah Faces $5M Lawsuit for Work-Related Accident

08/10/2011 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Salt Lake City, UT — The University of Utah is being sued over a November plumbing failure that left 12 workers with scalding burns for $5 million. The contractor sued the university for the work-related accident that occurred underneath a parking lot in a vault near 300 South and 1850 East on Nov. 1, reported the Salt Lake Tribune.

Thermal West Industrial Inc., of North Salt Lake, was hired by the university to install hot-water piping trunks in a new tunnel system through the school’s campus. While working on the underground pipe, at least 40,000 gallons of hot water poured into the tunnel system through a water line that was listed as inactive, injuring 12 workers.

State investigators estimated that the water was about 400 degrees when it shot steam into the tunnels, which scalded 12 workers, critically injuring three of them.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the work-related accident and found Thermal West Industrial was not at fault for the accident. The university was cited in April for failing to cap the inactive water line, although it was still connected to active lines.

The multi-million dollar lawsuit asserts that the worker’s injury reports caused the contractor’s safety rating to drop, resulting in lost contracts with its biggest customers– including Tesoro, Frontier and Sinclair oil companies.

In addition, the lawsuit is seeking workers’ compensation costs related to the work-related accident, which reached damages of over $4.8 million.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley- Legal news for Utah work-related accident lawyers.

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