James Lee was on-duty for the Wills Point Police Department when he heard an explosion. As the first officer on scene, he arrived to discover his son on the ground – unrecognizable, with 90% of his body covered in burns, and clinging to life. Jimmy Lee lived for approximately one month in Parkland Memorial Hospital until he could fight no more. He left behind his parents and three children.
The Ayres Law Office was retained by the family and learned that Jimmy was injured while cutting a burn barrel at his employer’s place of business. Physical evidence was limited because of the fire and the case required securing a future for children left behind with no father.
The barrel had no warning label and no packet describing potential explosiveness. During discovery, the Ayres Law Office uncovered prior explosion incidents and the manufacturer’s familiarity with “hundreds” of instances like this where people were injured or killed; nonetheless, the manufacturer chose not to warn.
After mediation was unsuccessful, the case settled shortly before trial with the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the barrel for nearly six million dollars.