Four men reportedly were injured when a grain bin in northwest Indiana exploded. Media reports indicate that a powerful blast in a grain elevator in LaCrosse, Indiana, injured four men Thursday (April 16, 2015) about 9 a.m. Residents as far as 15 miles away reported they could hear the blast in the 175-foot-tall bin and some even felt their houses shake like an earthquake, according to media reports. The blast blew out large holes on both sides of the feed mill, according to eyewitnesses. Tragically, four men who work for Co-Alliance LaCrosse Feed Mill, just east of U.S. 421, were taken to hospitals with injuries. An investigation into the cause of the blast is being conducted by the Indiana State Fire Marshall’s Office, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), according to the LaPorte County News. Authorities also told reporter Stan Maddux that the area has been sealed off due to the risk of a collapse of the structure that may be beyond repair. Clifford Law Offices has successfully worked on several grain bin cases, the latest being a record verdict obtained by partners Kevin P. Durkin and Sean P. Driscoll who obtained a $16 million verdict again Con Agra Foods on behalf of two families who lost their sons when they became entrapped in a grain bin. The story received coverage across the country, including the Chicago Tribune: click here to view the article.
The verdict was the largest ever in Carroll County, Illinois, and each family received a record amount in the state outside of Cook County. The previous record in that county was a $220,000 verdict in 1989 and a $1.1 million settlement in 2006, according to the Jury Verdict Reporter. Durkin told the press that about 1,600 grain bin entrapments are reported every year in this country with sometimes several of them tragically resulting in death. Clifford Law Offices takes great pride in representing people from across the state, the Midwest and the country, painstakingly researching every detail and attaining the best experts in order to go to trial prepared and knowledgeable about every aspect of the case. That is clear what happened in the case involving the two families in Carroll County so that justice was served. Following the incident involving the cases that Durkin and Driscoll handled, the OSHA issued warning letters to the grain industry on Aug. 4, 2010, to address and emphasize the dangers of entering storage bins and safety procedures that must be in place. Among those safety measures is that employers must provide workers who enter the bin with a type of lifeline to prevent them from sinking into the bins.