Co-Employee Gross Negligence Cases

Heck v. Craigmile et al, (Iowa 2008)

Facts: A hexane explosion interrupted at the AGP soybean processing facility in Sergeant Bluff’s Iowa August 2003. The explosion killed Mr. Heck and others were critically burned. Plaintiffs filed suit against co-employees managers based upon a co-employee gross negligence theory. In addition plaintiffs filed suit against various parties who were involved in the construction and design of the existing extraction room where the explosion occurred.

During the course of litigation plaintiffs have received confidential amounts of settlement from various coemployee defendant’s and other defendants involved in the construction and design of the facility. The case is pending with the remaining defendants and trial is scheduled in March.

Settlement: Settlement among the many defendants, including manufacturers and designers of the processing system, exceeded $6,000,000.00.

Smith v. Air Feeds, et. al. (Iowa 1996)

Facts: Smith was injured when a Komatsu press he was operating at work cut off his hand. Mr. Smith’s employer had modified the press machine, taking away the intended safety device.

Verdict: A Story County jury assessed Mr. Smith’s damages at $278,000. The Supreme Court upheld the District Court’s finding of co-employee gross negligence