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Worker who inhales nitrogen from leak settles for $2M 

Heath Hamacher//October 6, 2022

Worker who inhales nitrogen from leak settles for $2M 

Heath Hamacher//October 6, 2022

A worker who suffered a “stroke-like episode” while working on an air filtration system in a Cherryville plant has accepted a $2 million settlement for an array of injuries suffered on the job, his attorney reports.  

Lauren Walker of Sumwalt Anderson Law Firm in Charlotte reports that her client, a service technician with a commercial air filtration equipment company, was injured on July 22, 2019, as he was servicing a commercial fire suppressing air filtration system at the plant. According to an email from Walker’s firm, it’s believed that the plaintiff inhaled nitrogen leaking from the system, causing oxygen deprivation to his brain and leading to the stroke-like episode, brain hemorrhage, and several other injuries and deficits.  

After being discharged from the hospital, the plaintiff spent 38 days in an inpatient rehabilitation center before being sent home to 24-hour supervision.  

“Through Ms. Walker’s representation, Plaintiff’s fiancée obtained both retroactive and ongoing attendant care compensation for the care and supervision she provided to the plaintiff,” the firm wrote.  

The firm wrote that as the claim proceeded, the parties disagreed regarding the amount of attendant care the plaintiff required and was expected to require over the duration of his life, and the appropriate hourly rate of pay for the care provided by his fiancée. A settlement was ultimately reached, however.  

Pursuant to a confidentiality agreement, many details of the case, including names of the parties and defense counsel, have been withheld.  


Amount: $2 million 

Injuries alleged: Suspected exposure to nitrogen resulting in loss of oxygen to brain, closed head injury, frontal intracranial hemorrhage with resulting physical and cognitive problems, including mobility and balance issues, right-sided hemiparesis, right frozen shoulder, vision impairment, lowered IQ function, verbal fluency deficits, executive functioning deficits, and memory deficits 

Case name: Withheld 

Court: North Carolina Industrial Commission  

Mediator: Reid McGraw 

Date of settlement: April 1 

Most helpful experts: Cynthia Wilhelm, Ph.D. (certified life care planner) 

Insurance carrier: Central Mutual Insurance Company 

Attorney for plaintiff: Lauren Walker of Sumwalt Anderson Law Firm in Charlotte 

Attorney(s) for defendant: Withheld 



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