$222 Million Verdict in Jeffrey Energy Center Suit

A Texas jury has awarded $222 million to the widow of a Kansas man who died in an accident at Evergy’s Jeffrey Energy Center power plant near St. Marys in 2018.

The jury found that Team Industrial Services, a Texas-based subcontractor to Westar Energy, was 90% responsible for the death of Jesse Henson, of Manhattan, the family’s attorneys said.

Henson and a co-worker, Damien Burchett, of Overbrook, were burned alive when they were investigating a loss of power at the steam plant near St. Marys in June of 2018.

Westar, which is now called Evergy, was found to be 10% responsible, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The deaths occurred after Team finished rebuilding parts in three generation units at the coal-fired plant.

Team argued Westar and Henson were largely responsible for the accident.

Evergy spokeswoman Gina Penzig said the company would have no immediate comment on the case.