Lawsuits Filed After Chemical Leak Kills Two, Sends 30 To Hospital
At least two lawsuits have been filed against a Houston-area chemical plant after a deadly leak killed two contractors and sent 30 others to the hospital. According to the plaintiffs, the plant had the opinion of experts who told them to repair the damage immediately. Instead, the plant used contractors to perform stopgap maintenance on the problem. More lawsuits are likely as the facts around the case begin to become clearer. The company is accused of putting profits ahead of their workers, and of routinely unsafe conditions in their workplace.
One worker who has since filed a lawsuit against the company contends that 100,000 pounds of acetic acid spewed out of a pressurized line when the cap burst. The plaintiff immediately fled the area, sustaining chemical injuries to his body alongside bumps and bruises related to his escape. The plaintiff remains hospitalized with severe injuries.
A second lawsuit was filed by another employee who was injured in the explosion. The lawsuit alleges that the employee was permanently disfigured in the blast. The plaintiff contends that the employees at the plant were not adequately trained, and this led to dangerous conditions, which eventually led to the explosion.
The extent of the injuries caused to some 30 individuals who had to be admitted to the hospital after the explosion is unclear. However, acetic acid burns the skin when it comes into contact with it and is toxic to breathe. Others suffered injuries when attempting to flee the chemical fumes emerging from the explosion.
It is typical in situations like this where multiple plaintiffs who are injured in a single incident to form a class. Attorneys for the plaintiffs will seek to determine what plant supervisors knew and when they knew it. They will also discuss what type of training employees go through prior to becoming full employees and whether that training was adequate. Essentially, the plaintiffs will have to prove that the company’s negligence made such an event likely.
Further, the plaintiffs are alleging gross negligence for systematic safety failures on the premises that could have contributed to the explosion.
It is typical for companies that are facing class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of 30 employees to investigate their bankruptcy options. The plaintiffs then become the equivalent of the company’s creditors and the judgment against the company is paid into a trust that handles claims related to injuries stemming from the incident.
The company will likely face at least 2 wrongful death lawsuits and up to 30 injury suits.
Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered injuries due to toxic exposure, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.