A wrongful death suit has been filed after an employee was tragically killed when a hyperbaric chamber exploded at an equine rehabilitation center in Florida.
The husband of Erica Marshall filed the suit on July 12 against the makers and sellers of the hyperbaric chamber, the equine rehab center, and its property owners. The defendants are Equine Oxygen Therapy Acquisitions (which also goes by the name Veterinary Hyperbaric Oxygen or VHO2), Equine Oxygen Therapy Resources, KESMARC South, KESMARC Equine Rehabilitation, Farnsworth Rehab Property, and Farnsworth Farms.
Marshall was operating the equine hyperbaric chamber on February 10 when the horse being treated became agitated inside the chamber and began kicking. Court documents state the horse’s kick dislodged a protective cover exposing metal which resulted in a spark that ultimately caused a catastrophic explosion killing Marshall.
When a hyperbaric chamber is in use, it is highly flammable, due to the pressurized oxygen.
KESMARC was required to secure workers’ compensation insurance for its employees pursuant to Florida Law. The suit states the company failed to do so, which bars KESMARC’s defense of workers’ compensation immunity.
Prior to the incident, KESMARC allegedly discovered the chamber was not working correctly, and contacted the makers of the machine for repairs. The repairs were not made and KESMARC “allowed an unqualified and untrained individual(s) to attempt to perform repairs and/or maintenance to the chamber.”
The suit claims KESMARC was negligent by continuing to operate the chamber before the repairs were made, for not removing or covering the horse’s metal shoes, and proceeding with therapy on a horse that was inadequately sedated.
The co-defendants, who designed and manufactured the chamber, also handle the selling, training, and maintenance of their chambers.
The suit alleges they did not adequately cover the metal interior of the chamber to prevent metal on metal contact, and that they failed to warn of the hazards of allowing metal objects in the chamber.
The plaintiff has requested a jury trial.
Hyperbaric therapy is used to speed healing, improve the body’s ability to fight infection, and reduces inflammation and swelling, according to experts.
A female visitor who was with Marshall sustained serious injuries in the blast. The horse being treated at the time of the explosion was killed.
The hyperbaric chamber exploded this morning at the Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Center in Florida. The local news is reporting one woman was killed and another transported with unknown injuries to Gaines... Read More