$4,000,000 settlement for hotel housekeeper injured in gas explosion

Plaintiff was a 36-year-old female immigrant from the Caribbean who worked as a housekeeper at a hotel. She was doing laundry in a laundry room equipped with natural gas dryers. She placed her clothes in the dryer, started the dryer, and began to walk out of the laundry room. As she opened the door and stepped outside, the explosion occurred. She sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns to her face, neck, upper body, both arms, and both hands. She was left with significant permanent scarring, primarily on her arms. She also suffered from extreme anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder after the explosion.

Plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negligent for failing properly to maintain the gas piping in the laundry room, and for failing properly to respond to prior reports of gas odors in or near the laundry room.

Mediation was attempted on Jan. 18, 2016, with Judge Thomas Shadrick (Ret.). The case did not settle at mediation but Judge Shadrick continued to work on resolving the case every day thereafter. Settlement was reached a week later for $4,000,000.