This past Monday, a high school student by the name of Yvonne Yanes was awarded over $59 million dollars in damages for having succumbed to severe burns following a chemistry class experiment. The incident occurred back in January 2014 when Yanes attended a New York City high school. Now years later, at 21 years old, the former student won over a grand jury which motioned for him to be paid out by the city of New York. The decision was made following a trial that lasted four weeks wherein Yanes' lawyer ben Rubinowitz pushed for half of the sum to be for the burn victim's past pain and suffering. The other half, clocking in at approximately $29 million dollars, was given for future pain and suffering. Hence, the settlement is indeed all-encompassing of the situation's scope.
The incident occurred at Beacon high school and as Yanes took the stand on June 19th, he detailed the events which led to his severe burns: "She poured the methanol into a container, and then without any warning, there was a big whoosh sound — a giant fireball had erupted from the jug. I saw flashes of blue and orange. I heard my classmates go, ‘Whoa!’ and scream. I reflexively put my arms out … to kind of shield myself from the flames that were shooting out towards me." As a result, the plaintiff suffered third-degree burns on a large portion of his body. He described the pain as excruciating and the flames as "charring me the way a piece of meat chars in a frying pan."