Earlier this week, Attorneys Jason Itkin and Cory Itkin, along with Attorney Scott West of The West Law Firm, obtained a staggering $222 million verdict on behalf of a grieving widow. Her husband, Jesse Henson, was killed three years ago while working at Westar Energy’s Jeffrey Energy Center near St. Marys, Kansas. Today, Westar Energy is part of Evergy.
Henson was sent to the 14th floor of the power plant with another worker to investigate a steam release. Once they reached the floor, both men were exposed to superheated steam that caused them to sustain fatal burn injuries. In the end, we discovered that the industrial accident was caused by a faulty relief valve Team Industries Inc. inspected and modified. Despite this fact, Team refused to take responsibility for the deadly incident.
Instead, Team tried to escape accountability by blaming Westar and our client’s husband for the incident.
“For three years, Team has denied responsibility for the horrific death of Jesse Henson,” said Attorneys Jason Itkin and Scott West in a joint statement. “Today the jury’s verdict was loud and clear that human life matters and that big companies cannot avoid responsibility for deadly workplace disasters.”
During trial, our team was able to show that Team identified the faulty release valve and suspected that it would fail. Yet, despite that fact, they never took the steps that would have saved the lives of Jesse Henson and his coworker. Our dedication to making sure Team wasn’t allowed to escape justice resulted in a jury verdict that found the company to be at 90% fault for the incident while Westar was found to be at 10% fault. The jury awarded our client with compensation for the physical and mental pain her husband endured before he died, compensation for her loss of companionship, and compensation for her past and future suffering.
This result shows that companies will face the consequences of their behavior—no matter how much they try to escape them. Our team knew that this grieving woman needed us to help her find a path forward after the unthinkable. While nothing can change the loss this woman has endured, we refused to allow her to be mistreated by a company that insisted on blaming her husband for his untimely death.
At Arnold & Itkin, our team is always ready to do what it takes to make sure a client gets the right results. In this case, it took an extensive investigation and a three-year legal battle to make sure justice was served.
When the other side puts up a fight, we always fight back harder.
No matter what.
To learn more about this case, check out the following articles: