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Man burned at Batavia restaurant awarded $40K in suit

Published: Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 5:35 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – A man who was burned while fixing a fire suppression system at a Batavia restaurant was awarded $40,000 earlier this month in a lawsuit filed last year, according to his attorney.

According to court documents, Matthew Rapp of Oak Forest was at the East China Inn in Batavia on Oct. 12, 2010, to repair the restaurant’s fire suppression system.

Court documents allege that a restaurant worker turned on the stove while Rapp was making the repair, causing burns to Rapp’s leg.

Rapp filed a suit against the restaurant in 2012.

Rapp’s attorney, Octavio Duran, said Rapp suffered second-degree burns and was treated in a hospital.

His injuries caused him to miss some work Duran said.

“He does have some scarring to this day, but luckily he’s been able to get back to work,” Duran said.

Duran said Rapp, an employee of Fire Science Techniques, was in the process of removing two fuses from the fire suppression system.

He said Rapp made sure that the stove was turned off before starting repairs.

He said about half of Rapp’s body might have been concealed by an aluminum cover over the stove when someone turned it on.

“It’s possible they just didn’t see him,” Duran said.

The defendant’s attorney, Amanda Zink, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Court documents show that Rapp at one point sought $50,000 in damages, but Duran said he remembered the initial amount being higher.

The restaurant’s insurance company already paid the $40,000 settlement to Rapp, he added.

“The client was happy,” he said.

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