Nicholas Malfitano Jun. 18, 2015, 9:51am


PHILADELPHIA – Nearly one year after his mother and sister were killed in a propane-fueled food truck explosion in Feltonville, a Philadelphia man has filed suit against companies linked to the truck.

Uliser Galdamez filed a product liability and wrongful death lawsuit Monday in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against U-Haul and Eri Vending Food Cart, Inc., over a fatal explosion which took the life of his mother Olga Galdamez, 42, and younger sister, Jaylin Galdamez, 17.

The two women were working in the La Parrillada Chapina food truck near 3rd Street and Wyoming Avenue on July 1, when a deteriorating propane tank installed in their truck ruptured and exploded, consuming the truck in flames and creating a street-wide fireball that also injured 11 bystanders, the suit says.

Galdamez and her daughter died of their burns and other injuries three weeks later.

Appointed as the administrator for both of their estates, Uliser Galdamez alleges the “negligence, carelessness and/or reckless conduct” of all defendants ultimately led to the fatal explosion.

According to the lawsuit, U-Haul regularly refilled the “old, deteriorated and damaged” propane tanks used by the truck and Eri Vending Food Cart was responsible for the design and installation of the truck itself.

“Companies like U-Haul that fill propane tanks are obligated by federal law to inspect the tanks and make certain they are safe for use. The catastrophic explosion that occurred here is what happens when those requirements are ignored,” Galdamez’s attorney Alan Feldman said in a prepared statement.

The plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of the jurisdictional limit for arbitration, $50,000, plus interest and court costs in this case.

Per the litigation, those entitled to recover damages for Olga Galdamez’s death in this action are her four children -  sons Uliser and Marcos Galdamez and daughters Astrin and Seiry Galdamez.

The plaintiff is represented by Alan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann and Edward S. Goldis of Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig, in Philadelphia.

Listing of counsel for the defendants was not immediately available.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150601947

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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