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Australian explosion victims win large settlement from Revlon and state government

02 October 2014

Three men who took cosmetics giant Revlon to court over injuries received in an explosion at a Canberra factory in 2009 have won A$6.6 million from the company and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government. The explosion occurred after a box of deodorant cans was placed in a shredding machine at the SteriHealth medical waste disposal facility in Mitchell, north of Canberra.

Stock image
Stock image

The three victims, electrical contractors installing cabling at the site, suffered major external and internal burns when they inhaled the combusting material from the explosion.

The men and two of their mothers launched a legal action in the ACT Supreme Court over the incident on the grounds of physical and psychiatric damage which caused a loss of income and economic capacity, and the need for past and future care. They have now instead accepted the settlement, which includes six-figure payouts for the mothers as carers.

Lawyers alleged Revlon did not tell SteriHealth that cosmetic waste in the bins collected on the day of the incident included pressurised aerosol cans and that SteriHealth failed to take practical steps to ensure that the cans were not shredded. A company owned by the ACT government was also involved, and will therefore  be paying a share of the final amount.

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