Negligence and its Contribution to The Whitehall Explosion
On November 10, 2017, electrical contractors Jose Zadezensky and Jonathan Ruperez suffered severe burns eventually leading to Zadezensky’s death after a transformer exploded in the basement of The Whitehall hotel in downtown Houston. It is believed that negligent and gross negligent behavior by hotel management contributed to the accident.
What is the difference between negligence and gross negligence?
The legal definition of negligence is the failure to exercise the degree of care expected of a person of ordinary prudence in like circumstances in protecting others from a foreseeable and unreasonable risk of harm in a particular situation.
Gross negligence, on the other hand, is marked by conduct that presents an unreasonably high degree of risk to others and by a failure to exercise even the slightest care in protecting them from it. Gross negligence is sometimes associated with conscious and willful indifference to another’s rights.
Simply put, negligent behavior is taking unreasonable actions which unintentionally put others in harm’s way, while gross negligent behavior is taking unreasonable actions (which may or may not be intentional) that put others at extreme risk.
It’s still too early to determine what will be deemed actions of negligence and gross negligence in The Whitehall case. We can confidently say the alleged refusal of hotel management to provide requested electrical blueprints to the contractors displayed carelessness for the electrical workers’ safety. The electrical power shutdown requested by Zadezensky would have also prevented this tragic accident from occurring.
The Potts Law Firm attorneys take great honor and responsibility in representing the victims of The Whitehall tragedy. If you or someone you know has been a victim of negligent acts of others, we would love the opportunity to hear your story. Contact us today for a free consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyers.