Floridians sue after Canadian reactor explodes

Michelle Massey Sep. 27, 2010, 2:24am

Two Florida men have filed a lawsuit against a Canadian company after they were burned when a prematurely opened reactor exploded at its plant.

James M. Fox and Joel P. Naranjo filed suit against 4403100 Canada Inc. d/b/a Ecolomondo Corp., Corporation Ecolomondo Inc., 4403096 Canada Inc. d/b/a Ecolomondo Technologies and 4403199 Canada on Sept. 15 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants were developing and marketing a process that converts hydrocarbon-based waste into marketable by-products using a high-temperature reactor.

On Sept. 15, 2009, Fox and Naranjo were touring the plant and facility when the reactor was opened before it had completely cooled, causing the reactor to explode, damaging the facility and burning the men.

The defendants are accused of negligence for prematurely opening the reactor before it was adequately cooled, failing to maintain the reactor in a reasonably safe operating condition, failing to operate the reactor within safe operating parameters and failing to supervise and train employees regarding proper operation of the reactor and related equipment.

The defendants are also accused of failing to provide the men and the facility with adequate safety gear and equipment including fire extinguishers and fire suppression equipment, or first aid facilities, tools and equipment.

The plaintiffs are asking for an award of damages for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, mental injuries, medical expenses, loss in wages, earnings and earning capacity, disability, disfigurement, attorney's fees and court costs.

Fox and Naranjo are represented by Kearney S. Loughlin of New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.

The case has been consolidated with a similar lawsuit pending in federal court in New Orleans.

Case No. 2:10cv03065

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