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Michael P. Burakoff, P.A Michael P. Burakoff, P.A
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Family of Man Killed at Timberlane Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit


There’s no doubt that certain jobs are more dangerous than others. However, many people suffer egregious harm and death due to their employer’s negligence.

Sadly, this was the case in New Jersey in 2022. A 48-year-old man was working at Timberlane Services Inc. when a tank exploded and he was blown through a roof. The man was killed in the explosion.

The incident happened in Harrison Township on June 15, 2022. The Cedarville man was welding parts to the top of a fuel tank truck inside the facility when the tank exploded. The man was blown through the building roof, about 25 to 30 feet above the building itself. The man suffered multiple fatal injuries.

The man’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Timberlane and others. In 2023, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) levied more than $38,000 in fines against Timberlane, which performs truck and trailer repairs. OSHA cited the company for willful violations of safety precautions regarding welding, failures to notify employees about hazardous chemicals in the workplace, and the absence of a workplace hazard communication program.

It was discovered that the truck the man was working on had not been adequately cleaned to remove fuel and vapor from the tank. This caused an explosion when welding began.

Timberlane contested the findings and the penalty was reduced to $20,000 under a settlement agreement. As part of that settlement, the willful violation of welding precautions was downgraded to a serious violation. Timberlane has addressed the issues. Once the penalty is paid, the case will be closed.

The lawsuit filed by the man’s estate accuses Timberlane and others of failing to take appropriate safety precautions prior to the explosion. In addition to Timberlane and its owner, the lawsuit names Taylor Oil Company Inc., which owns the truck, as a defendant. A Philadelphia-based garage that was allegedly supposed to empty the truck’s fuel tank before it was taken to Timberlane was also named in the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the man, who had worked at Timberlane for 20 years, suffered multiple catastrophic injuries to his head and neck, torso, and extremities due to the explosion. He died at the accident scene.

The man’s family accuses the defendants of negligence and wrongful death. They claim the companies failed to take safety precautions and did not properly train and supervise employees.

The lawsuit also contains a product liability claim against the manufacturers and distributors of the welding equipment the man was using at the time of his death. The claim alleges that the product was designed in a defective manner. The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial and an unspecified amount in damages, including medical bills and lost income.

Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Welding can be a dangerous activity, but fatal accidents should not occur when proper precautions are taken. An employee should not be blown through the roof of a building.

Catastrophic or fatal workplace accidents can be devastating for families to deal with. Get legal help from a Morristown work-related accident attorney from The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff. Our legal team has extensive experience recovering full and fair compensation for the victims of work-related accidents and injuries. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling (973) 455-1567.


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