Industrial Tragedy Kills Husband And Father
Family Obtains a $1 Million Settlement
On or about August 1, 2005 Tragelus Labranche went to work to support to his family as he had done so for his entire life. Tragelus Labranche was married to his wife for 18 years and was a father of 4 children. Tragelus worked more than one job to support his family. On the day of the tragedy he was working as he had done for many years at the Coreslab Structures Miami, Inc. plant located in Medley, Florida. Tragelus was sandblasting large concrete panels at the time of his death. These large panels are often used for concrete walls in parking structures and large buildings. Tragelus was breathing air that was supplied by a large and very old Ingersoll Rand compressor. While doing his job, unbeknownst to him he began to breathe carbon monoxide which is an odorless tasteless poisonous gas which caused his untimely death.Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. worked on this case with the Finizio Law Firm and the first job was to investigate and find out why this tragedy occurred and who was responsible.
In most circumstances the employer which was Coreslab has immunity under the Worker’s Compensation Statutes. The investigation of the Panter Firm along with the Finizio Firm revealed that there would be more than one theory of liability and more than one defendant. A lawsuit was brought against Arle Compressor, a company that was involved in the maintenance of the compressor along with Ingersoll Rand the manufacturer of the old compressor and Parker Hannifin the manufacturer of the hose that failed. After extensive investigation and with the aid of qualified experts and discovery the matter was settled with the defendants for a total of $1 Million.
Brett Panter reviewed the evidence and established two theories of liability. One was that the Arle Company failed to maintain the compressor in an appropriate and safe manner and that the hose blew up and set in motion the events which shortly thereafter killed Tragelus Labranche. The hose was evaluated by experts and the theory was that it was improperly installed, however, Arle continued to deny liability and even through the settlement process denied all liability.
The second theory was that the Coreslab was sold the wrong equipment for the type of work being done. Arle once again was blamed for the sale of a product without an appropriate cut off switch in case of noxious and/or dangerous or deadly gases. There was once again a major dispute between the Plaintiff, Arle and Coreslab as to what was recommended and what the role of Arle was in the recommendation of equipment for this job site. Arle continued to deny liability and despite their continuing denial of liability, there was a $1 Million settlement achieved.
Mr. Panter learned that the oil hose broke and toxic smoke escaped and vaporized and it was this vaporized air that went through multiple lines of which Tragelus Labranche was connected to and provided him the source of toxic fumes which killed him. The Million Dollar settlement will not replace Tragelus Labranche for his family, however, it is hoped that the financial settlement will help ease the financial burden of the loss of the main financial provider for this family.