CLINTON — Defendants named in a civil lawsuit filed in connection with Clinton Fire Lt. Eric Hosette’s January 2019 death at Clinton’s Archer Daniels Midland plant have filed answers and affirmative defenses in response to the lawsuit filed in June.
Kellene Hosette, Hosette’s widow, is joined by Clinton firefighter Adam Cain, who was seriously injured in the January 2019 ADM explosion, as co-plaintiffs in the case. Their petition was filed June 12 against Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Bill Whitter’s Construction Co. and/or BWC Industrial Services, LLC, collectively listed as BWC.
In the petition, Kellene Hosette is suing under the Wrongful Death Act, stating that her husband’s death resulted from the defendants’ negligent acts and omissions subsequent to the arrival of fire department personnel the day of the fire and resulting explosion.
She is seeking judgment in connection with her husband’s pain and suffering and medical expenses and her loss of consortium as his spouse.
Cain also is accusing ADM and BWC of negligence in connection with the events leading up to his injuries. He is seeking a judgment based on his pain and suffering, loss of body function, lost wages, and medical charges as well as future pain and suffering, function loss, lost wages and medical expenses.
ADM filed an answer, affirmative defenses and jury demand earlier this week through attorneys Jacob D. Bylund, Christopher A. Kreuder and Ruben I. Gonzalez of Faegre Drinker Biddle and Reath, LLP. ADM asserts a dozen affirmative defenses. The defenses include a claim that the alleged injuries were not proximately caused by the acts or omissions of ADM or any person from whom ADM is legally responsible. The answer contends the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries were the sole proximate cause of the conduct of third parties for which ADM is not legally responsible, the result of unforeseen legal intervening circumstances or the result of such an unusual and extraordinary display of nature that could not have been expected under normal circumstances.
The answer claims Hosette and Cain voluntarily undertook conduct that led to the injuries with knowledge of risks, dangers and hazards. The answer added Hosette and Cain’s injuries were caused by the same peril to which they were responding in their roles as firefighters and were a natural consequence of a risk of their employment. The answer also contends the plaintiffs have recovered compensation for their alleged injuries from a collateral source.
Bill Whitters Construction Co. and BWC Industrial Services, LLC, filed an answer, affirmative defenses and jury demand earlier this week through attorney Martha L. Shaff of Betty, Neuman and McMahon, PLC. The answer alleges Bill Whitters Construction Co. was never on site, has no employees and could not be negligent or breach any duty. The answer alleges the plaintiffs’ claims are barred by assumption of the risk and as a duty of employment and because they were responding in their roles as firefighters. The answer also alleges the plaintiff has failed to assert a claim upon which relief may be granted.
A trial scheduling conference is set for 11 a.m Aug. 5.