Alonzo Yanes was awarded nearly $60 million in a New York court today for pain and suffering due to an accident in his high school chemistry class that left him with severe burns on over 30% of his body.
Despite the payout, the now-21-year-old says he would give the money away in a heartbeat if it meant he could look ‘normal’ again.
What Happened at Beacon High?
Chemistry teacher Amanda Poole was demonstrating a chemical reaction between salts and methanol at the beginning of 2014 when it caught fire, causing a fireball to erupt in the classroom.
Most students were able to evade the flames, but Yanes caught the worst of it. He said he could feel the fire eating away at his skin, and that the pain was ‘unbearable’.
$60 Million for Pain and Suffering
Half of Yanes’ award was for the pain and suffering he has already been through, and the other half is calculated out by what he will continue to suffer for the rest of his life or the next 54 years.
The city is planning on fighting the amount, saying that they were expecting something closer to $5 million, or what is in line with ‘previous judgments’.
Just a few weeks before Yanes was disfigured in this accident, a federal safety agency issued a video warning classrooms of the danger this exact experiment can pose.