Essroc worker files lawsuit alleging massive third-degree burns in kiln pipe accident

By Nicholas Malfitano | Sep 20, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – A cement worker is seeking negligence-related damages after allegedly being called upon to inspect a kiln pipe and the pipe burst, spewing red-hot kiln dust and covering him with third-degree burns over half of his body.

Daniel Mackey of Granada Hills, Calif. filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on May 7 versus Essroc Cement and Essroc Italcementi Group of Nazareth, Lehigh Cement Company and Lehigh Portland Cement Company of Allentown and related entities.

On July 25, 2016, Mackey was working at the Essroc Nazareth Plant I in Nazareth. Hot dust spilled from the kiln pre-heater located on the subject plant was conveyed by kiln screws to a discharge pipe, which runs into the ground level area known as the “doghouse," the suit says.

Spilled kiln dust was discharged from the subject discharge pipe in a pile on the floor of the doghouse, where it was to be later collected and recycled back through the kiln system, the suit says.

On the day in question, the discharge pipe in the doghouse allegedly backed up, causing kiln material to be discharged from the feed end of the kiln. Subsequent investigation determined that discharged kiln dust had piled up and reached the open end of the subject discharge pipe, which is located approximately six feet of the ground of the doghouse floor, the suit says. 

The dust pile was removed from the floor, but pipe remained choked – to investigate the issue, Mackey was sent into the doghouse on foot. But before that, the screws carrying discharged kiln dust were not locked out, the suit says.

“As plaintiff approached the subject discharge pipe, suddenly and without warning, the blockage was dislodged, spewing red-hot kiln dust, reaching temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees, over plaintiff’s entire body, instantly incinerating his clothing and causing horrific third-degree burns,” the suit states.

As a result, Mackey allegedly suffered third-degree burns over 53 percent of his body, including on his face, neck, anterior torso, bilateral upper extremities, bilateral hands, bilateral digits, buttocks and bilateral lower extremities, immense, conscious pain and suffering, severe pain, aching, throbbing, sharp and shooting pain, extensive physical therapy, stress and anxiety, scarring, depression, despair, despondency, anxiety, and mental and emotional pain and suffering, plus psychological, psychiatric and neurological injuries and medical and rehabilitation expenses.

In separate sets of preliminary objections filed on June 4 and July 26, the defendants raised the same counter-arguments: That three paragraphs in the complaint pertaining to violation of statutes failed to conform to rule of law, allegations of reckless conduct were insufficiently pled and venue was improper, that the case should instead be heard in the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas.

For one count of negligence against all listed defendants, the plaintiff is seeking damages, jointly and/or severally, and each of them, respectively, separate sums in excess of the jurisdictional threshold, including delay damages, interest and allowable costs of suit.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Andrew R. Duffy and E. Douglas DiSandro Jr. of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by J. Colin Schwartz and Daniel S. Altschuler of Post & Schell, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180500080

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

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Organizations in this Story

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Post & Schell, P.C. Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky

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