HOUSTON – On August 3, 2009, the 2nd Judicial District Court of Cherokee County, Texas approved a record-setting settlement totaling $23,215,206.57 for a 32-year-old man who suffered paralysis when a defective air jack exploded while he was performing routine maintenance at the Stryker Creek Power plant in Cherokee County. According to Verdict Search, the settlement is the largest reported settlement in the United States involving a single individual suffering from quadriplegia.
On October 31, 2007, then 30-year-old Joshua Goodson suffered near-fatal injuries when an industrial inflatable air jack manufactured by Molded Products Company and designed and sold by Air Jack Hydraulic exploded while he was repairing and fabricating boiler tubes in the superheater section of a boiler room at the Stryker Creek Power Plant owned by Luminant Generation Company, LLC. Goodson and his crew were employees of Fluor Daniel, an independent contractor hired to provide maintenance of the boilers at the plant. In order to perform the work, Goodson was required to separate tube assemblies within the boilers to allow him to crawl in between them. An industrial air jack was provided by Luminant and utilized by Goodson’s crew to spread the tube assemblies. While Goodson was performing his duties, the air jack exploded striking him in the head and back and paralyzing him from the chest down.