Lawsuit: Superheated Steam Killed 2 Men at Kansas Plant

November 5, 2018

The family of one of two Kansas men killed at an energy plant says in a lawsuit that the men died when the elevator they were in filled with superheated steam because of a faulty safety valve.

The federal lawsuit was filed Oct. 31 on behalf of the children of Damien Burchett of Overbrook. He died June 3 along with Jesse Henson of Manhattan at a Westar plant near Topeka.

The Wichita Eagle reports the accident occurred within hours of a turbine being restarted after it was shut down for three months for maintenance.

The family is suing three companies who built and maintained the turbine and steam valve. Westar is not named in the lawsuit.

That lawsuit challenges a $250,000 state limit on compensation for survivors of people who die in on-the-job accidents.

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