On Aug. 21, 1996, Joe Trevorah and his friend Jimmy Abenante volunteered to help Trevorah's neighbor install a hot water heater.
The Times-Herald Record reported that a propane gas explosion was sparked while they were installing the heater. Trevorah and Abenante were both burned over more than 50% of their bodies. They were hospitalized for months with second- and third-degree burns.
Last month, an Orange County jury awarded Abenante, of Middletown, NY, and Trevorah, of Blooming Grove, a combined $5.6 million.
The jury found the gas company, Coleman Gas Service, a division of Connecticut-based Star Gas Corp., negligent in the maintenance of the liquid propane gas system.
Publication date: 12/02/2002