$40,000 settlement for repair man burned at Batavia restaurant

Updated 8/13/2013 3:16 PM

A 26-year-old fire suppression repairman recently was awarded $40,000 after he was set on fire at the East China Inn location in Batavia on Randall Road, his attorney said.

Matthew Rapp, of Oak Forest, sued the restaurant in 2012 for damages, arguing workers there were negligent in causing burns on his left leg.


The two sides settled the lawsuit in Kane County last week.

"It settled for $40,000. He was pretty happy," said attorney Octavio Duran, who added that his client had second-degree burns and now has scarring on his leg. "He's able to walk and work and do everything he did before."

Amanda Zink, an attorney representing the restaurant, did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday.

According to the lawsuit, Rapp was atop a stove inspecting a sprinkler system at the restaurant for Fire Science Techniques on Oct. 12, 2010, when someone turned on the flame under a wok, burning him from his ankle to his knee.

Duran said the stove was off when Rapp got on top of it with a three-step ladder to change fuses.

Rapp was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released, but had to return numerous times for follow-up treatments.

The restaurant's insurance company will pay out the settlement, but did not admit culpability in the settlement, Duran said.

"They never came out and said 'It was our fault,' " Duran said.

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