Taking Legal Action in Hopes of a Better Future

Written by Pritzker Hageman Law Firm on July 12, 2022

Survivor Stories
Testimonials / Impact Stories
Legal Action

Within nanoseconds of lighting a cigar, Casey felt and heard a whoosh and explosion as his body was thrown back 90 feet away from where he was standing.

A blue ball of flame 

Casey is a builder and developer, and in July 2013, he was on-site wrapping up a multi-year construction project. Before attending a celebratory dinner, he had some extra time, so Casey grabbed a glass of wine and a cigar and headed out on the second-floor balcony to enjoy an approaching and blossoming mid-west thunderstorm. When Casey leaned into the house, escaping the growing wind to light the cigar, he had no idea that propane gas was swirling around him. That's when he saw a blue ball of flame around his hand, and within mere nanoseconds, a massive explosion erupted, catapulting his body 90 feet off the balcony. 

A month later, Casey woke from a coma in the ICU of a burn hospital. He had a long road to recovery ahead of him. Not only did he suffer 3rd-degree burns on 70% of his body, but Casey also sustained a brain injury and multiple broken bones. Refusing to give up, Casey worked hard to recover and get back to living. While doctors told him he could be in the hospital for up to a year, he went back home in just a few months, where he continued to recover from the accident physically and emotionally. 

Preventing future tragedies 

As someone with years of construction experience, Casey knew that something had gone terribly wrong to cause the explosion that injured him. So he decided to pursue legal action - not for the money but because what happened shouldn't have happened, and Casey was determined not to let this happen to others.

When searching for legal counsel, it was crucial for Casey to find someone with knowledge and experience in similar situations. Casey enlisted the help of the Pritzker Hageman Law Firm because of their respected and longstanding history and, more importantly, because he felt supported by their trustworthy and compassionate team.

Fred Pritzker was a very compassionate and empathic lawyer. Both Fred and Eric Hageman realistically prepared me for every step of the legal process."


Prepare, protect, promote

Most personal injury lawsuits are not settled overnight but rather travel a long and emotional road. Due to the statute of limitations, personal injury lawsuits must be initiated relatively quickly after an accident. This can be incredibly challenging for burn survivors like Casey, who are not only recovering physically but are now facing the emotional and mental impact of both a burn injury and the legal process. The Pritzker Hageman team prides themselves on advocating for justice but also being a support system and thoroughly preparing their clients for what's ahead. 

The well-being and physical recovery of our clients is our primary goal. We focus on the case so that our clients can focus on their health."

Eric Hageman, Managing Partner at the Pritzker Hageman Law Firm

Casey’s Legal Timeline 

  • July 2013: Casey is injured 

  • January 2014: Casey retains Pritzker Hageman attorneys

  • February - August 2014: Investigation into explosion occurs

  • November 2014: Lawsuit is filed in court

  • January 2015: Casey’s lawyers begin requesting and obtaining documents from the defendant to help prove the case

  • April-September 2015: Numerous depositions take place to develop the liability claim

  • October 2015: Mediation occurs, and the case settles

Throughout the two+ years of the case, Casey always felt prepared and protected by his legal team. While nothing is certain, the Pritzker Hageman team knew Casey had a strong case which eventually went on to settle outside of court. 

The settlement didn't matter. Preventing this from happening again did."


The national award-winning Pritzker Hageman burn, fire, electrocution and explosion legal team is led by attorney Eric Hageman. They help survivors and their families throughout the United States get compensation and justice. They know that it's not just about money. It's about restoring dignity, holding wrongdoers accountable, and forcing changes so that what happened to their clients doesn't happen to someone else: