Workplace catastrophes can happen quickly and leave a lifetime of damage in their wake. Lost wages and extensive medical bills are just the beginning of the struggles victims and their families have to wrestle with.
Your future shouldn’t be determined by a company’s negligence. However, these are complex cases, and without an experienced catastrophic injury attorney, you may struggle to get the representation, compensation, and care you deserve.
We are one of Colorado’s leading explosion and catastrophic injury law firms. Let us leverage our combined five decades of experience to get the justice you deserve.
Explosions and catastrophic events involve a special type of law, so you need a lawyer who has worked on these kinds of cases in the past.
We’ve handled numerous catastrophe and explosion cases, so we know how to:
As you can see, every explosion and catastrophic injury case deserves a thorough approach and an attorney willing to fight on your behalf. At Chris Parks Law, we don’t just seek damages; we seek justice for you and your family.
Not only do we aggressively collect evidence, but we’re willing to work with other attorneys and we’re always willing to go to trial. We’ll stand up for you at every turn and bring these five standards to your case:
If you or a loved one have been injured in an explosion or other catastrophe, don’t let the responsible parties keep you from getting the settlement you deserve. Let us fight for you.
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I was having lunch when a waitress I knew well asked me if I could help her daughter, who I will call Jean. Jean had a son with a married man. A few days before, this man had been killed at a Bethlehem Steel shipyard. Jean was concerned because her son’s father was still married at the time of his death, and his wife was bringing a lawsuit on her behalf and on behalf of her two children. Jean wanted to know if I could do anything for her child.
I obtained a temporary restraining order requiring the shipyard to preserve all evidence and allow me, my investigator, and my photographer immediate access to the yard and to the offshore oil platform where the fire had occurred. I arrived at the shipyard on a Friday afternoon with my team but was told by the shipyard manager that he would not grant us access due to safety concerns, despite the court order. This was ridiculous as my team had extensive experience and agreed to waive any liability.
I called the local Justice of the Peace, who asked that I put him on speaker so that everyone in the office at Bethlehem could hear what he had to say about their decision to deny us access. The Justice, Tony Ippolitto, in a calm and relaxed voice, explained to the shipyard manager that Friday was fried chicken night at his house, and his wife cooked the best-fried chicken in the county. He said he looked forward to Friday nights all week.
As close as I can recall, the following sentence was something of the order: “So help me if I have to get up from this table and come down there to enforce a valid court order, there will be hell to pay. I’m not too fond of cold chicken.” After some nervous laughter and a few yes-sirs — we were allowed in.
What we saw stunned us all. Our client had been inside a compartment in the circular leg of an offshore drilling platform. He was welding on one side of a steel wall called a bulkhead. On the other side of the bulkhead was his welding partner. Somehow the acetylene and oxygen hoses that fed their torches were burned in two while cutting. This resulted in pressurized open flames shooting from severed hoses, which slashed back and forth inside this confined steel chamber, blocking the only possible exit for both men and heating the chamber like a furnace.
The trial testimony of his surviving partner was grotesque. He recalled our client screaming, crying, and calling to him as he slowly burned to death. Both men yelled and banged on the steel walls of the compartment, praying that someone outside would hear them. No one did.
The fire marshal testified at trial that the temperature in the compartment exceeded 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The witness told the jury that his partner’s dying request was whispered to him while both men touched their fingers in a small opening at the bottom of the steel wall. The request was, “Jackie, tell the girls to take care of my kids.”
The fire marshal testified at trial that the temperature in the compartment exceeded 500 F. The witness told the jury that his partner’s dying request was whispered to him while both men touched their fingers in a small opening at the bottom of the steel wall. The request was, “Jackie, tell the girls to take care of my kids.”
Even though it was several days after the accident when we were admitted to the shipyard, many of the photographs we took wound up as critical pieces of evidence at trial. The pictures show the deplorable housekeeping conditions in the shipyard and on the platform. Safety experts explained to the jury that housekeeping and safety go hand and hand, especially in an industrial environment. We also showed jurors pictures of the small manhole, which was the only access to the compartment. We hired the author of a book that discussed the extreme hazard of single-access compartments and the OSHA requirement that a “hole-watch” be posted at the single access point. He testified that if Bethlehem had spent the extra salary and posted a hole watch, our client would likely never have been burned, much less killed.
There is more to tell about this case, but suffice it to say early and aggressive action, including the obtaining of a restraining order, the refusal to take no for an answer, and the intervention of law enforcement, resulted in the securing of valuable evidence that would have been otherwise lost.
On March 23, 2005, an explosion at BP’s Texas City Refinery killed fifteen people — I represented family members of two of the fifteen. This refinery was the second largest in the state of Texas and the third largest in the United States. In addition to those killed, 180 others were injured, and an entire section of the refinery was obliterated.
I was hired within days of the disaster, as were most of the other attorneys involved. I remember the minute I was hired on the BP case. I was driving toward Houston, and I immediately began calling engineering experts I had worked with in the past and other attorneys who had recently tried similar cases to discuss the expert witnesses they had used in their trials. Many of the experts I called that day were later contacted by other lawyers working on the case. Within two weeks, a meeting of the victims’ attorneys convened, and we began pooling our resources and experts to better represent our clients. Within four weeks, all attorneys wrote significant checks to fund our discovery efforts. However, each lawyer and law firm continued to represent their own clients individually. Within seven weeks, my clients had a binding agreement that paid them a substantial settlement amount immediately and guaranteed they would receive additional amounts in the future as the other cases went to trial. (The specific amounts of the settlements are confidential.)