Lawsuit: Man set on fire at Batavia Chinese restaurant

Updated 9/12/2012 11:23 PM

A fire suppression repairman has sued the East China Inn restaurant on Randall Road in Batavia, arguing he was set on fire while working during an October 2010 visit.

Matthew Rapp, 25, of Oak Forest sustained severe burns to his left leg after someone turned on a wok while Rapp was atop a stove fixing fuses, his attorney said.


"He got burned quite badly," said attorney Matt Willens, adding Rapp was burned mostly on his left leg from his ankle to his knee. "Because of the burn, he missed 21 weeks of work. He was burned by grease."

In a recently filed lawsuit in Kane County, Rapp argues the East China Inn was negligent, and seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

The suit states that Rapp visited the Chinese restaurant on Oct. 12, 2010, for his job with Fire Science Techniques. "A restaurant employee turned on the stove or continued to work on the stove that the plaintiff was working above which set the plaintiff on fire," the lawsuit states.

Willens said Rapp was standing on top of the stove inspecting a sprinkler system and changing a fuse. Rapp needed medical treatment for a year, Willens said.

"We feel this case has substantial value given the fact that he was set on fire due to an employee's negligence," Willens said.

The manager at East China Inn referred inquiries to the restaurant's insurance broker, which had no comment.

East China Inn has two locations in Batavia and two in Aurora.

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