WE Energies Settlement

Eight people injured in a 2009 explosion at a We Energies power plant have reached a $16 million settlement.

The lawyer of the eight defendants announced the agreement on the two-year anniversary of the explosion. He argued the defendants, including Wisconsin Electric Power Co. and contractor U.S. Fire Protection Inc., were negligent, because coal dust in the silo was not removed as required, before workers entered to do construction.

That silo exploded into flames, sending four people to hospitals with serious burns, and injuring four others. The silo was a dust collector where leftover coal dust is stored for eventual burning. The workers were erecting scaffolding inside so other contractors could conduct repairs, said Timothy S. Trecek, the plaintiffs' attorney.

A We Energies spokesman said the utility, contractors and their insurance companies would now work among themselves to determine how to divide responsibility.

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