May 19, 2012 began like any other Saturday morning for four employees of the Resolute Forest Products paper mill near the Catawba River. The three men and their supervisor were to work on a fiber line that soaks wood chips into pulp using sodium hydroxide. After soaking, the chips turn into a paper pulp which is used to make paper. But, after the overnight shift had some troubles with the pump, the morning crew decided to close the valves completely. Suddenly, one valve exploded burning the men. Wayne Vinson II was closest to the valve; the caustic solution blew up in his face leaving him blind. He suffered burns on 70% of his body and was in a medical induced coma for two months; the supervisor, Mitch Altman, was burned over 30% of his body. Both have been through several skin grafts. A year later, the emotional and physical scars remain. The two other employees were further from the rupture suffering minimal burns.
State investigators blamed the equipment for the incident. A report by the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation after a months-long investigation found that “the valve sleeve inside the pinch valve failed.” A review of the incident showed both design and manufacturing flaws, according to a scientist hired by the labor department.
Vinson and two other victims have filed lawsuits against Flowrox Inc., valve manufacturer, and WACCO, Inc., the company that distributes the valves, claiming negligence and other wrongdoing, caused physical and financial harm. For Vinson, that harm is disfigurement and blindness. The lawsuits seek damages for the loss of ability to work, pain and suffering from the burns and disfigurement, and allegations of product liability malfeasance and negligence. The defendants deny all claims.
Although Resolute has been helping the families, including paying for Vinson’s family to stay at the burn center, the medical costs alone are exorbitant. It may be at least another year before a settlement is reached. For these victims, waiting for their deserved compensation may be a financial strain, leaving them in debt or risking their credit score. Lawsuit funding is a possible solution.
Any financial issues can largely be eliminated with lawsuit funding, a non-recourse cash advance against a pending claim. Because good credit and employment are not necessary, funding can be available within 24 hours of approval. Best of all, if the plaintiff loses, repayment is excused.
If recovering from your injuries is not only taking an emotional and physical toll, but a financial one as well, don’t let someone else’s negligence stop you from paying your bills. Lawsuit Financial may be able to provide you with the financial security you need. It’s fast and easy to apply online or by phone. Contact us today and see if we can help you.