Plant Explosions and Property Damage

Last updated on: June 11, 2015


A plant explosion can be a devastatingly destructive event, causing personal injuries, fatalities, and massive property damage.  An explosion may be caused by negligence attributable to the owner/manager of the plant, an employee or subcontractor, or it may be caused by a design defect or manufacturing defect in plant equipment. Although most companies carry insurance that will compensate someone for at least some of the personal injury and property damage caused by a plant explosion, it might not be enough.  In addition, the explosion might have been caused or made more severe by a third party, such as a product manufacturer, so it may be necessary to have multiple defendants in any litigation arising out of a plant explosion. Professional legal assistance is an absolute necessity under these circumstances.

How an Explosion Works

An explosion typically starts from a single location and a blast wave is created by expanding gas.  The gas heats up and accelerates as the explosion proceeds.  If the explosion takes place in a confined area, the blast wave will seek to escape the enclosure by taking the path of least resistance — typically, windows will blow out before walls are destroyed.  All of this can take place within a fraction of a second.

Types of Property Damage

Property damage from an explosion can come in several different forms, not all of them obvious. The direct damage from the explosion can include destruction of equipment and even the building itself.  Pieces of the building may be flung onto neighboring properties, resulting in additional damages.  The plant itself, or a large portion of it, may be forced to close as a result of the explosion, resulting in lost income.  An explosion involving toxic substances can result in long-term environmental damage, not only to the plant and its grounds, but also to neighboring properties. If the cause of the explosion can be attributed to the company that owns or rents the plant, liability for injuries or deaths that occurred as a result of the explosion can be astronomical. Insurance may cover only some of these liabilities. In many cases, however, the fault for the explosion may lie not with the plant itself but with a third-party that manufactured a defective product, which was purchased by the company and later caused the explosion.


Two types of property damage lawsuits are the most common in the aftermath of a plant explosion – negligence and product liability. If the accident was caused by a contractor, the plant might file a negligence lawsuit against the contractor, seeking compensation for property damage. The plant might file a product liability lawsuit if defective equipment caused the explosion.  In a product liability lawsuit, the person or business that suffered property damage might be able to sue anyone in the product’s chain of distribution, including the manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retailer.  Once it has been proven that the product was defective and unreasonably dangerous, it will not be necessary to show any other type of fault on the part of the defendant to win.


If your plant has suffered property damage as a result of a plant explosion, you might be entitled to compensation if you can prove that the accident was the fault of a third party.  It is critical to realize that your choice of legal representation could end up deciding the outcome of the case. Zinda Law Group is a well-regarded law firm that has earned an excellent client satisfaction record.  Our attorneys are passionate about their jobs and they never quit until they have put you in the best possible position to receive a fully adequate settlement or court judgment. Call us right now at 800-863-5312 to schedule a free initial consultation.