Distillery sues still-maker after fatal explosionBy Melita Kiely
A distillery owner and one of his employees are suing a still-making company following an explosion that left the employee injured and another dead.
In April, a “catastrophic equipment failure” caused an explosion at Silver Trail Distillery in Hardin County, Kentucky, and left distiller Jay Rogers and his assistant Kyle Rogers with burns covering 80% of their bodies.
Jay Rogers subsequently died from his injuries, while Kyle Rogers remains in a stable condition at Vanderbilt’s burns unit, according to The Paducah Sun.
Now, reports from WSPD Local allege owner Spencer Balentine and Rogers are suing Revenoor Company Incorporated in Oregon from which they bought a still in 2011 and 2012 to make moonshine.
They argue the still malfunctioned and caused the explosion.
On Friday, Silver Trail Distillery posted a warning on its Facebook page urging owners of any Revenoor stills to not operate them until the Kentucky State Fire Marshall has checked them.
Another post signed off by Balentine said: “I will post the complete fire marshall report on here when he has it ready.
“I can tell you that is was not a flash fire nor a propane fire. Also there was no distilling errors as all Silver Trail distilling safety protocols were followed.”
It read: “The model 300 gallon Revenoor used by Silver Trail failed massively hurtling 50 feet and bending a 10 foot by 10 foot sliding steel door.”
The lawyer in charge of the lawsuit, Charlie Moore, told the news site he wants Revenoor to answer 12 questions regarding the incident, including how was the still transported? Did Revenoor have insurance? Was there a fail-safe if the still malfunctioned? Plus, did anyone else file lawsuits against Revenoor?
The still-maker has 20 days to answer the questions and 30 days to submit the requested documents.
Moore added: “The distillery should have had a system in place that would prevent what occurred here.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it and have accountability where it should be placed.”
The explosion is still being investigated by the fire marshall.