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Beer Bottle Explodes, Blinds Worker

Houston Man Blind After Beer Explosion

Updated: Wednesday, 13 Jul 2011, 9:52 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 13 Jul 2011, 9:52 PM CDT



HOUSTON - A beer bottle exploded in a local man's face while he was unloading bottles into an ice-filled cooler.

"Mario" is blind in one eye and fighting for millions from the popular sports bar where he used to work.

He's suing Sawyer Park on Washington Avenue, alleging the bar failed to properly train employees how to safely load beer into a cooler.

Houston Distributing Company is also named in the suit. The company is accused of negligent care and handling of the beer.

The Dos Equis was warm when it arrived at Sawyer Park on a hot June day, Mario said.

He was in charge of unloading the beer. As soon as it hit the ice, one of the bottles exploded in his face.

"When you have water and ice and cold, frigid temperatures and you add a bottle that's hot, I mean that's hot and cold. It's a combustible mix," said Waverly Nolley, Mario's attorney.

Pieces of the bottle shot into Mario's right eye. He's had surgery and may be permanently blind.

"The pain was extreme, not only physically but emotionally," said Mario, who adds he's suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Mario doesn't want to reveal his whole face but allowed Fox 26 to see what his eye looks like now.

This month, he filed the lawsuit alleging Sawyer Park and Houston Distributing Company disregarded his health and safety.

"My client was never trained by his employer nor told by Houston Distributing as to the temperature of the beer at the time of delivery and the proper procedure to bring that temperature down at a gradual rate so these explosions won't occur," said Nolley.

Nolley also says Sawyer Park should have provided Mario with protective eye and hand wear to unload the beer. The lawsuit claims Houston Distributing Company was a defendant in a similar suit in 2002 involving a "dangerous and defective beer bottle."

Nolley says Sawyer Park has paid for some of Mario's treatment but has not compensated him for loss of vision and other damages. He's seeking at least three million dollars.

"I never imagined something like that could happen. I don't know what the future is going to hold about finding another job," said Mario.

We reached out to both of the defendants for comment but so far have not heard back from them.

Read more: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/news...#ixzz1S2pywESr

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