Corpus Christi Plant Explosion Lawyers
Helping the Survivors of Catastrophic Plant & Refinery Accidents
Plant explosions are catastrophic by definition. They change lives forever, either by inflicting life-altering injuries on workers or by creating a lifetime of grief for loved ones after a fatal incident.
The fallout of a plant accident, either environmentally or emotionally, can leave lifelong scars. Companies should do everything they can to prevent refinery explosions; instead, they create unnecessary risks in the name of keeping costs low. As Corpus Christi plant injury lawyers, we've investigated numerous industrial disasters—some of the worst ones in U.S. history. Every time, we are grieved to learn that the injuries and loss of life created by these accidents are preventable. One case we investigated could have been fixed in a few minutes for a few dollars. The only reason it wasn't implemented? Because the easy solution would have slowed down production. That's unacceptable in the industrial world, but in the real world, it's loss of life that's unacceptable.
Corpus Christi plant workers suffer severe industrial injuries of all kinds, including:
Arnold & Itkin stands with the survivors of plant explosions and refinery accidents. Our Corpus Christ plant explosion lawyers refuse to let the survivors of life-altering accidents scrape by on their own—not when the company could do the right thing and pay for the mistakes they made. We've seen so many loyal employees expect their company to be loyal to them in return...only to see them be abandoned and blamed for their own injuries. Companies that were praising your performance one week will suddenly be investigating the accident for signs that it was your fault. Meanwhile, you're left wondering how you're going to provide for your family.
Fight for your family's best chance at stability. Fight to make things right with your employer. Call (888) 493-1629 or use our short online form to tell us what happened.
The Kuraray America Plant Explosion – Pasadena, Texas (2018)
One of the most devastating plant explosions in recent memory is the incident at the Kuraray America facility in Pasadena, just outside of Houston. On May 19, workers were servicing a tank when malfunctioning valve over-pressurized the piping, creating a massive explosion and fire. 20 workers suffered injuries and topical burns, including one worker who suffered burns all over her body and another who was left dangling over the fire after being knocked from the scaffolding. One malfunctioning part caused all this pain.
Orion Group Barge Accident Leads to Corpus Christi Pipeline Explosion & Fire
On August 21, 2020, a marine barge owned by Orion Group Holdings Inc., a marine construction company based in Houston, TX, hit a propane pipeline during dredging operations in the Corpus Christi ship channel. This ignited a barge fire that spread to a grain elevator. The resulting explosion injured at least six, some of which were severe, and required a water rescue after the barge crew jumped ship. Several crewmen went missing in the aftermath of the incident. The pipeline, owned by EPIC Products, was being installed that day.
While a grain elevator explosion seems relatively likely, pipeline explosions are also common. Given the intensity of the barge fire, a barge explosion is likely as well. Our firm has investigated all three types of accidents, but an incident like this—where all three elements are present—are exceedingly rare.
The Most Devastating Plant Explosions in Texas
Texas, sadly, has a history of deadly plant explosions. Our state is home to some of the largest production facilities in the nation, and in many ways, the world's economy is powered by the plants in our own backyard. Unfortunately, companies don't view their employees as valuable partners or resources—if they did, they would spend more on training, inspection, and maintenance. Each of the deaths, injuries, and losses below could have been prevented. Knowing that makes us fight all the harder for injured workers.
Our Corpus Christi plant accident lawyers have compiled a list of the worst disasters in our state's history:
The Phillips Plant Explosion | October 23, 1989
Imagine being at ground zero of an explosion that registered on the Richter scale. In October of 1989, the connections for opening and closing a valve were reversed during routine maintenance, releasing 85,000 pounds of flammable gas within seconds. Within minutes, the gas came into contact with an ignition source and caused a chain reaction of explosions through the plant. It also caused a fire that burned uncontrolled for 10 hours. All told, the fire and the explosions killed 23 workers and injured 300+ other employees.
The Texas City Refinery Explosion | March 23, 2005
In January 2005, BP hired a consulting firm to inspect their Texas City facility. The report was not kind. It said, "We have never seen a site where the notion 'I could die today' was so real." It followed up with a list of deadly risks: thinning pipes, malfunctioning alarms, loose and crumbling concrete, and other serious safety issues. Within several weeks, the lack of working alarms and a wrongly-closed valve allowed volatile liquids to flood a tower meant to release gas into the air. Instead, it released the liquid from the tower, creating a vapor cloud of flammable hydrocarbons looking for an ignition source. Because a worker had left a truck idling about 25 feet from the tower, the vapor cloud ignited within minutes.
It created an explosion of such magnitude that it immediately killed 15 nearby workers and broke windows nearly a mile away. Nearly 200 workers were injured, and the damage was so severe that the plant was left inoperable for 2 years.
The West Fertilizer Company Plant Explosion | April 17, 2013
In West, Texas, an enormous fertilizer facility had been left alone for nearly 20 years. It's last OSHA inspection was in 1985, and while other regulatory agencies had cited it for improper storage, improper reporting, and poor risk management planning, it was still largely considered a low-risk facility. After the explosion, it was discovered that the plant didn't fully disclose how much ammonia was stored on site.
On April 17, a fire started in the facility. Firefighters were attempting to keep the fire from reaching flammable materials, but they were not successful. Minutes after the fire started, the facility exploded with the force of 10 tons of TNT. For days there were conflicting reports of who was injured or dead, with many missing in the aftermath. Eventually, authorities determined that 15 people were killed and up to 200 were injured in the plant explosion. Those killed included emergency responders and volunteer firefighters.
The Largest Plants & Refineries in the Corpus Christi, TX Area
- Corpus Christi Complex (Flint Hills Resources), Corpus Christi
- Corpus Christi Refinery (Citgo), Corpus Christi
- Corpus Christi East & West Refinery (Valero), Corpus Christi
Why Do Industrial Accidents Happen?
Our Corpus Christi plant explosion attorneys have investigated the cases of hundreds of plant workers, and often when they get hurt, it's because someone decided that cheap production was more important than people's lives. It's why decades-old plants still have neglected equipment, untrained workers, and poor emergency preparation.
Our Corpus Christi plant injury lawyers ensure our workers get what they need to move forward:
- $97 Million – Our Corpus Christi plant burn attorneys won a massive settlement for refinery accident survivors who were burned in a fire. The settlement helped them pay for the wages they lost while recovering and for the extensive medical care they needed.
- $39.7 Million – Our plant explosion lawyers obtained a massive verdict for an explosion survivor who was working at a plywood plant. The client's skin was falling apart due to the incident, which required numerous surgeries and would require more in the future. The verdict helped him pay for those surgeries and provide for his basic needs during recovery.
- $18.5 Million – In the second of our Geismar plant explosion trials, we held both Williams Olefins and SABIC accountable for their negligence. SABIC is a massive, worldwide petrochemical company who had a 16% stake in the Louisiana plant that exploded in 2013. This verdict is what forced the company to take its workers claims seriously.
- $15.45 Million – The plant explosion lawyers at Arnold & Itkin won a massive verdict for four workers who were injured in the 2013 plant explosion in Geismar. Williams Olefins attempted to limit their workers' claims by passing the blame, but the jury saw through their act. The company was assigned 98% of the blame for the explosion.
Geismar Explosion Story: $30+ Million Won for Victims of Massive Explosion
In 2013, the Williams Olefins plant in Geismar, Louisiana exploded the morning of June 13. The explosion killed 2 workers instantly and harmed 167 other people. The plant owners denied any responsibility for the explosion, but our firm knew otherwise; we immediately filed claims on behalf of nearly a dozen workers who asked for our help.
Williams Olefins, both the company that owned the plant and its parent company, refused to settle because they believed that their scheme to pass the buck would work. It did not—the jury assigned nearly all of the blame to both companies. Shortly after that, the Chemical Safety Board released the results of their investigation, proving that the explosion was the result of the company's mismanagement and cost-cutting.
Burn Injuries from Corpus Christi Industrial Accidents
Factories, refineries, and manufacturing plants have no shortage of dangerous, volatile substances. When properly managed and properly trained, workers have nothing to fear from chemicals or machinery. However, when they aren't properly managed or trained, explosions and other accidents occur—resulting in severe burns.
Burns are among the costliest catastrophic injuries.
Survivors of severe injuries deserve to be provided for—to have their care and treatment covered by the company that allowed the accident to happen. Our Corpus Christi burn injury lawyers fight to ensure the long-term well-being of refinery explosion victims, helping ensure that they receive the care that they need for life.
The Long-Term Effect of Explosion Injuries
Explosions are violent, fiery, and traumatic, resulting in both physical and psychological injuries. Physically, the shockwave of an explosion alone can cause serious blunt force injuries. The heat and fire cause severe burn injuries, potentially requiring skin grafts or amputation. Workers are just as likely to injure themselves attempting to escape an explosion as they are to be injured by the explosion itself. We’ve represented workers with orthopedic damage, including injuries to the neck and back, who were hurt while running away from an explosion.
The long-term effects of these injuries are numerous:
- Inability to make a living
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Chronic or constant pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish
All of these injuries, even the emotional ones, have a financial impact. People with traumatic stress find that they’re unable to return to their job site or have to find a different career. The loss of a job compounds the medical costs that come with a serious injury, putting families at serious risk of losing everything they’ve worked hard to save.
Oil Refinery Accidents & Explosions
Corpus Christi oil refineries and those located across the state and country play an important role in American industry. They are responsible for processing crude oil, transforming and refining it into products like gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, petroleum gas, asphalt base, and more. Because they deal with volatile substances, however, they are sometimes the sites of catastrophic explosions.
An oil refinery explosion can level an entire facility, destroying everyone and anything it its path. Workers who aren't injured in the initial blast may be harmed or even killed while trying to escape the refinery. Evacuation injuries are common, as workers frantically try to get out of harm's way. Severe burns, crush and impact injuries, and psychological trauma are other serious consequences of oil refinery explosions. In these cases, workers need the best Corpus Christi oil refinery accident attorneys they can get. At Arnold & Itkin, we strive day in and day out to help injured refinery workers and their families rebuild after these tragic (and often preventable) accidents.
Wrongful Death Caused by Refinery Accidents in Corpus Christi
The death of a loved one is an indescribable loss. When plant workers and factory employees die in terrible accidents, their families and loved ones bear the cost of it—emotionally, financially, and psychologically. Our firm fights to ensure that the impact of a wrongful death is mitigated by the company that allowed it to happen. With many plant workers serving as the sole providers for their families, our work helps ensure our clients can put food on the table and keep their homes.
Wrongful death suits fight for economic and non-economic losses, including:
- Funeral and medical costs
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental care
- Loss of income and benefits
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Explosion Injury FAQ
How Could This Have Been Prevented?
In our experience investigating industrial explosions, we often uncover negligence in every single case. The fact is, explosions don’t just ‘happen.’ Explosions are the result of numerous choices to disregard safety, cut corners, and value quarterly profits over workers’ lives. It will take some time to uncover the specific causes in your case, but there’s no question that negligence is the root cause of your injuries.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Attorney?
In terms of your budget? Nothing. We operate on a contingency fee arrangement, which means we cover 100% of the cost of your case upfront. Our firm pays for the court fees, the cost of investigation and deposition, the hiring of expert witnesses, and anything else your case needs to win. Part of our agreement will be if you win a settlement or a jury award, our firm will receive a fixed percentage of it. But if you don’t win, you owe us nothing, so you’ll have nothing to lose.
What Should I Look for in an Attorney?
The first thing you should look for is case history. Does your attorney have a record of winning explosion cases? If they do, are they prepared to take your case to trial? Most attorneys don’t have much trial experience these days, which means they’re less equipped to demand fair settlements from large defendants. For our firm, trial experience is the reason we’ve been able to win billions for our clients.
What Plant Accident Survivors Say About Arnold & Itkin
Our firm has one goal for every case: make sure our clients get enough money to provide for their basic needs, stabilize their life, and get back to normal. That includes money to replace their wages, pay off their medical debt, and pay for future earnings and treatment. Every verdict or settlement we secure for our clients represents a life that's been made whole. Because we're working on behalf of your family and the rest of your life, we make every effort to hold your wrongdoers accountable. Here's how one client put it:
“It was just unreal how tirelessly they worked. Our trial lasted
around 10 days. Every night, they were working ‘til way after midnight.
There were a couple nights they never even slept.”
- Terry, Client of Arnold & Itkin
Here's what a few other survivors have said about working with our plant explosion attorneys!
"They're fighting for these little people that can’t handle
themselves when a giant comes. Almost like the David and Goliath. It’s
amazing thing to see. I would recommend them to anybody, I mean anybody.”
- Shawn Thomas
"They let me know when I met them that everything was going be all
right. Ever since the day I met them until today that I'm sitting here,
they have always had my back.”
- Veronica Sowell
"They didn't back down. That's why I like my lawyers. Even when I
had to do my testimony in court, they didn't let those lawyers run over
me. They fought hard. You have some lions with Arnold & Itkin."
- Maurice Dilworth
Contact Our Corpus Christi Plant Personal Injury Lawyers
We've been there to protect workers after explosions, and we'll be there to help after yours. Call us at (888) 493-1629 for help from a team that is never intimidated, never backs down, and never settles for less than what is fair.
Arnold & Itkin in the News
- Workers Injured in Chemical Plant Explosion Obtain $30 Million Verdicts In Two Louisiana State Court Trials Against Plant Owners/Operators
- CSB: 'Process safety management program deficiencies' lead to deadly 2013 explosion
- New Orleans Jury Awards $16M to 4 Workers for 2013 Plant Explosion
- ComDust victim awarded $39.7 million
- Houston jury awards $39.7 million verdict to man injured in Corrigan plant explosion
- Williams Cos. Hit With $13.6M Verdict In La. Plant Explosion