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Industrial Injury FAQ

Is Aging, Defective Equipment a Real Danger?

The equipment that is used at plants and refineries is one of the most common causes of plant explosions.

There are two separate reasons why equipment could be to blame.

  • First, it has aged naturally and merely has become outdated.
  • Second, the equipment may have been defective from the beginning.

Either way, it is a dangerous scenario for those who are near the plant. The use of substandard material is a real danger for people who work at industrial plants, as well as people who live in the surrounding communities. It is also not a danger limited to America. In fact, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in India recently came under fire for its use of inferior materials. As our attorneys have seen, this is a prevalent problem.

In fact, most plants have not been updated for half a century, meaning that the equipment and technology they're using is antiquated. Even in cases where the technology would be appropriate, the equipment may be so worn down it can no longer adequately function.

This danger was highlighted in the 2005 BP Texas City explosion, which killed 15 workers and injured 170+ others. In the investigations following the incident, it was found that multiple failures led up to the explosion. After Telos, a consulting firm, examined the plant, a report was released in January 2005 in which one of the co-authors stated that "we have never seen a site where the notion 'I could die today' was so real."

Yet, despite the apparent problems with the plant, no steps were taken that would help to lower risk.

In the original reports, some of the problems were broken alarms, thinning pipe, as well as heavy objects falling throughout the plant. Some of these contributed to the later explosion; for example, a disabled alarm that kept the plant from being notified when the raffinate splitter overpressure protection system overfilled the tower contents. Had the proper care and caution been taken, this equipment may have been upgraded with new, functioning models, which may have been enough to keep the incident from ever occurring.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident— aging equipment is often the cause of plant explosions.

Three Types of Defective Equipment

Defective equipment refers to any equipment that no longer works because of an inherent defect.

The truth, however, is that this can be split up into even more specific categories:

  • Design Defects: In some cases, the equipment may be flawed from the design alone. In these cases, no matter how well it was manufactured, it would be considered defective.
  • Manufacturing Defects: When the design isn't flawed, the defect may stem from the manufacturing process, such as the use of inferior materials or the improper training of employees.
  • Marketing Defects: Also known as a "failure to warn," marketing defects stem from a known defect in the equipment that is not properly announced so that consumers could be fairly warned.

Regardless of whether antiquated or defective equipment caused the explosion, if you have been injured, you deserve to have high-quality legal representation on your side. At Arnold & Itkin, we have been involved in countless cases since our founding in 2004 and have recovered billions of dollars. If you are interested in discussing your case with a plant explosion attorney from our firm, simply give us a call.

Our team has investigated serious industrial accidents and we know what it takes to get the results clients need. Call us now at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation.

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  • $8 Billion Top 3 Largest Jury Verdict in U.S. History Arnold & Itkin LLP tried a Risperdal case against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn about one of the drug’s most damaging side effects: gynecomastia. Our skill, hard work, and dedication resulted in the third-largest jury verdict ever obtained ...
  • $357 Million Largest Workplace Accident Settlement in Texas history Arnold & Itkin LLP secured a massive nine-figure settlement against a transnational corporation for a workplace incident. The settlement set a Texas record for being the largest personal injury settlement in the state’s history.
  • $205 Million Confidential Settlement Obtained for Numerous Clients Arnold & Itkin reached a record $205,000,000 settlement on behalf of clients after several years of hard-fought litigation. The case settled just before trial was set to begin.
  • $171 Million One of the Largest Confidential Settlements in History Arnold & Itkin worked over the course of several years to represent clients in a case that many other law firms turned down. In the end, we were able to obtain a record-setting confidential settlement of $171 million.
  • $117 Million Largest Single-Event Personal Injury Verdict in Louisiana History Arnold & Itkin represented a pregnant woman who experienced stomach pain and called Acadian Ambulance. The driver of the ambulance drove the ambulance into the back of a sugar cane truck causing the plaintiff's spine to be severed at T4 and for her ...
  • $116 Million Confidential Settlement Arnold & Itkin LLP negotiated a massive nine figure settlement on behalf of their clients after several years of hard fought litigation.
  • $110 Million Record Settlement Achieved for Victims of Defective Products Arnold & Itkin obtained a record settlement for individuals harmed by defective, dangerous products. The result exemplifies our commitment to clients and justice for those seriously injured by the conduct of others.
  • $105 Million Record Settlement for Dangerous Product Victims Arnold & Itkin’s legal team helped represent those harmed by dangerous products. We were successful in recovering a $105 million settlement.
  • $97 Million Massive Settlement Secured for Refinery Workers Arnold & Itkin is proud to share that after months of preparation for trial, our firm was able to secure a huge settlement for clients who were injured in a refinery fire. Find out more now.
  • $92.7 Million Record Settlement for Burn Injury Victim Arnold & Itkin LLP secured a substantial settlement for a man who suffered severe burns in an accident at his job. The settlement set a new record statewide for workers with similar injuries.
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Kevin Workplace Explosion Victim

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