A Texas jury handed down a $222 million verdict to the widow of a worker killed in a 2018 steam accident at Evergy’s Jeffrey Energy Center power plant.
Team Industrial Services, a subcontractor for Evergy, was found 90% responsible for the incident, which resulted in the scalding death of Evergy employee Jesse Henson and a co-worker.
Evergy, which was known as Westar Energy at the time of the incident, was found to be 10% responsible.
The incident occurred June 3, 2018, after Team Industrial finished rebuilding parts in three generation units at the coal-fired power plant, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Two of the three units restarted without incident, but the third wouldn’t return to full power, so Henson and co-worker Damien “Craig” Burchett were sent to investigate the loss of steam at a safety relief valve.
The two men took an elevator to the 14th floor where the steam valve was located and were engulfed in superheated steam that leaked from the recently rebuilt valve as the elevator doors opened.
Team Industrial argued in court that Evergy and Henson were responsible for the incident, but the jury ultimately found that Henson was not at fault.
A separate lawsuit was filed by Burchett’s family.