Court: Workers hurt in explosion can’t sue for negligence

FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2010 file photo, damage is visible at the Kleen Energy plant after an explosion in Middletown, Conn. Six people were killed in the blast. The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, July 27, 2016, that two workers injured in the explosion cannot sue the contractor for negligence because they already had received workers' compensation benefits. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Supreme Court says two workers injured in a power plant explosion that killed six other people in 2010 cannot sue a contractor for damages for alleged negligence.

Justices issued a 6-1 decision Wednesday saying contractor O&G Industries of Torrington is immune from the lawsuit under state law because the contractor bore the cost of workers’ compensation benefits paid to the two subcontractor workers.

The court rejected arguments by the workers, James Thompson and James McVay, that O&G Industries passed on the cost of workers’ compensation insurance to subcontractors.

The explosion occurred during construction of the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown. Authorities said crews were using natural gas at high pressure to clean out pipes and something sparked an explosion. The state later banned the “gas blow” practice.

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