Family Sues in Hyperbaric Chamber Explosion

Fiery accident was "predictable," attorney claims

The family of the two people killed in tragic hyperbaric chamber accident in May is suing the clinic, claiming the clinic was at fault for not warning patients about the potential risk of an explosion.

Francesco Martinisi, 4, and his grandmother, 62-year-old Vincenza Pesce, were killed at the Ocean Hyperbaric Oxygen Neurologic Center in Broward, when a chamber exploded causing a fire to rip through the clinic. Martinisi, who suffered from cerebral palsy, had come all the way from Italy to receive the special oxygen treatments. Italy prohibits the treatment because of the fire risks, the family has said.

Others escaped the blaze with minor injuries but Pesce died a day after the explosion. Martinisi died about  a month later. An emotional funeral was held in Italy a few weeks ago.

The wrongful death lawsuits did not specify damages.

"This incident was predictable and preventable, and we will vigorously pursue and hold accountable everyone who is responsible for causing this needless tragedy," Russell S. Adler, the attorney representing the family, said in a statement. "Pure oxygen always possesses a serious fire risk, and extreme safety measures must be taken to ensure that hyperbaric oxygen treatments are done safely."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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