Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Don't miss
Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Woman burned by firework settles with brother-in-law for $250,000

Woman burned by firework settles with brother-in-law for $250,000

An Iowa woman injured during a family Fourth of July celebration in Boone County reached a $250,000 settlement with an insurer for her future in-law.

“One of the mortars must have been knocked over or broken or something,” said plaintiff’s attorney Andrew Nantz of Votava, Nantz & Johnson. “It launched and hit her right in the abdomen, and she caught on fire.”

Nantz’s client, Stephanie Orscheln, suffered third-degree burns to her midsection, hands and legs in the mishap during the 2015 amateur fireworks display hosted by her soon-to-be brother-in-law Shane Orscheln. She alleged he failed to properly supervise the event.

“We’re not exactly sure who actually ignited the fireworks,” Nantz said. “There were numerous people around the fireworks.”

There was also some dispute about the origin of the rocket that hit his client.

“There was a question as to whether or not the display took place on the Orscheln property or on a lot next door,” said Nantz, noting that a witness reported that the firework in question had come from a cache of similar combustibles in the Orscheln garage.

Stephanie Orscheln did not set off any fireworks herself. At the time of the incident, she was sitting in a chair that had been laid out by the organizers for spectators. Nantz said it was her first time seeing a personal fireworks display.

He said there was no dispute about the extent of injury. His client required skin grafts and may suffer future problems due to her injuries. Nantz said he believed she would have made a good impression on a jury if the case had gone to trial.

“She would have been an excellent witness,” he said. “She had very real injuries and couldn’t possibly have done anything personally wrong.”

Tyler D. Beckerle of Zimmer & Associates, who represented the defendant, did not return a request for comment.

RELATED: Click to search for and submit your Verdicts & Settlements

Personal injury

Venue: Boone County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: 18BA-CV05231/Oct. 7, 2019

Injuries: Third-degree and other thermal burns on abdomen and extremities

Insurer: Allstate Insurance

Caption: Stephanie Orscheln v. Shane Orscheln

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Andrew Nantz and Todd Johnson, Votava, Nance & Johnson, Kansas City

Defendant’s Attorney: Tyler Beckerle, Zimmer & Associates, St. Louis