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Woods Cross family awarded $325,000 after refinery blast

Published April 5, 2012 9:10 pm

Lawsuit • Jury finds Silver Eagle Refinery at fault in 2009 blast.
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A jury has awarded a Woods Cross family $325,000 after finding the Silver Eagle Refinery at fault after a 2009 explosion that damaged their home.

Davis County jurors on Wednesday ruled in favor of Brian and Kristi Horne, determining a Nov. 4, 2009, explosion at the refinery caused the value of the couple's home to drop $25,000, court records show. The jury also awarded the couple $300,000 in damages for noneconomic claims.

Attorney Roger Bullock, who represented Silver Eagle Refining, said Thursday the company was deciding if it would appeal.

"Starting the day of the accident, Silver Eagle tried to help the homeowners whose houses were damaged," he said in a statement.

No one was injured in the explosion at 2355 S. 1100 West when a hydrogen and diesel fuel line leaked and the pool ignited at the refinery, but the shockwave was felt as far away as Farmington. The explosion knocked some nearby homes off their foundations, and many homes sustained broken windows and light structural damage.

Bullock said there were 300 claims as a result of the explosion, and of those 299 were settled in full. He said Silver Eagle made some payments to the Hornes, and the lawsuit involved their claims that were unable to be settled.

"The evidence showed that this accident happened despite Silver Eagle's safety inspections," he said. "Now Silver Eagle has put in place even stricter safety inspections and procedures."

In their lawsuit against Silver Eagle Refining, the Hornes claimed the explosion caused substantial damage to their home. According to the complaint, their home had been customized for Brian Horne, a quadriplegic who needs to use a wheelchair and special accommodations so he can successfully function in his daily life.

The lawsuit claimed the Hornes were forced to relocate to a rental property, which was not constructed to meet Brian Horne's needs, as a result of the explosion. The couple sought damages including compensation for ongoing emotional distress.

The attorney who represented the Hornes was unavailable for comment Thursday.


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