Lawsuit filed after Silver Trail Distillery explosion

Following the April 24 explosion at the Silver Trail Distillery in Marshall County, owner Spencer Balentine and one of the employees injured, Jay Rogers, are jointly suing a still maker for damages. 

The Kentucky Fire Marshal said the explosion was caused from a “catastrophic equipment failure.”

Two employees, Jay and Kyle Rogers, were injured and flown to Nashville with burns over 80 percent of their bodies. Kyle died from his injuries. Jay continues to recover. Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville says Jay is in stable condition.

Rogers and Balentine are suing a company in Oregon called Revenoor Company Incorporated. Silver Trail Distillery bought a still from Revenoor in 2011 and 2012 to make moonshine. They claim it malfunctioned and caused the explosion. 

Silver Trail Distillery posted a warning to their Facebook page yesterday. They’re warning anyone else who may have a Revenoor still that “the model failed massively, hurtling 50 feet and bending a ten foot by ten foot sliding steel door”.

The lawyer handling this case, Charlie Moore, wants Revenoor to answer a list of 12 questions, including: How was the still transported? Did Revenoor have insurance? Did anyone else file lawsuits against revenoor? And, was there a fail-safe if the still malfunctioned?

Moore told me their investigation is just beginning, but the explosion never should have happened, explaining, “The distillery should have had a system in place that would prevent what occurred here. We’re going to get to the bottom of it and have accountability where it should be placed.”

Revenoor has 20 days to answer Moore’s questions and 30 days to hand over the documents he’s requested. We did tried to contact Revenoor, but its website is a dead link and the phone number listed is disconnected.

Moore said he believes Revenoor is no longer making stills. Both Jay Rogers and Silver Trail Distillery are listed on the legal paperwork, but Kyle Rogers’ name is not yet listed on the paperwork. Moore said his family needs time to decide what they want to do.

The Fire Marshal is still investigating the explosion, and said the investigation could continue for another month.

To see the lawsuit, click here.

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