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The widow of a construction worker killed in an explosion at the Texas Industries Inc. plant in Midlothian, Texas was awarded $18.9 million by a jury. The widow of Gordon Rutherford, 34 had accused TXI of negligence and reckless conduct in the death of her 34 year old husband. A Dallas County jury agreed with her and after a four-week trial awarded the widow almost $19,000,000.00.

The verdict was the result of a four-week trial in which TXI was accused of negligence and recklessness in the death of the worker, 34-year-old Gordon Redford, a welder working for a TXI contractor. Mr. Redford died in the industrial accident when a fire broke out at the plant. Three other welders were burned in the incident.

Mr. Redford’s attorney accused TXI of ignoring basic safety principles by sending the welders into a very dangerous situation without adequate warning or properly maintained equipment.

In a separate statement, TXI vice president and treasurer Ken Allen said: “TXI is sorry for this tragic accident. “TXI takes workplace safety very seriously and has won numerous safety awards for its overall safety record.” TXI executives declined to say whether the company would appeal the verdict.

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