Lake Charles Plant Explosion Lawyers

Helping Oil Refinery & Plant Explosion Survivors Rebuild Their Lives

Lake Charles has a long and proud history, tracing its roots all the way back to the 1760s. However, it wasn't until after World War II that the region saw an economic boom thanks to the petrochemical industry. Since the 1940s, Lake Charles has been a strategic point for oil and fuel refining operations in the region. Citgo's Lake Charles facility is the sixth-largest refinery in the U.S. As Lake Charles plant accident attorneys, that concerns us.

Arnold & Itkin fights for plant workers who have been through the kinds of disasters that only come about through negligence: explosions, fires, chemical exposure, and more. We've seen it happen over and over: workers will have their careers and livelihoods cut short from life-changing injuries, but the company will do nothing to help them recover. Why? Because some large oil and gas companies would rather cover up their part in an accident than help employees live better lives.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Lake Charles refinery accident, call us—we want to help get what you need to pay for medical care, provide for your family, and get back to normal.

The Very Best Personal Injury Lawyers

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Plant Accidents in Lake Charles & Throughout Louisiana

  • Westlake Chemical Plant Explosion (January 2022)  
    Six people were injured when an ethylene dichloride tank exploded at Westlake Chemical South, a plant located about four miles from Lake Charles.
  • The Williams Olefins Geismar Plant Explosion (June 2013)  
    The company was warned that their reboiler system had a fatal flaw. They ignored it for years until the plant exploded, killing 2 and injuring 167.
  • The Citgo Refinery Explosion (March 1991)  
    The Citgo plant exploded in 1991, killing 3 workers and injuring 12 more. Those killed included a man who had been working at the plant for 22 years.
  • The Citgo Refinery Explosion (2001)  
    Barely 10 years after the first Citgo plant explosion, another explosion left the refinery severely damaged. Thankfully, no one was injured in this incident.

$30+ Million Verdicts Won for Geismar Plant Explosion Survivors

On the morning of June 13, 2013, the Williams Olefins oil refinery in Geismar exploded and killed 2 workers, injuring 167 more. It was discovered that a worker who was switching use of one reboiler to the other had turned on the intake valve...but not the safety release valve, which remained closed and allowed pressure to build to lethal levels.

Workers at the Geismar facility called our Lake Charles plant explosion lawyers because they needed help, and Williams Olefins wasn't taking responsibility. Our investigation (combined with the Chemical Safety Board's findings) discovered that Williams Olefins knew their reboilers had a fatal flaw over a decade prior to the explosion.

It would have taken only a few minutes and a few dollars to make the valve system safe and foolproof...but changing the design of the system would have slowed down production. That's why they chose to expose workers to a lethal risk for ten years.

In the end, we made sure Williams Olefins paid millions to our clients to help them recover and start their lives over again.

Oil Refining Companies Operating in Lake Charles

Lake Charles is home to a number of oil refineries. The employees and contractors at these facilities work long hours and perform complex, physical labor that tests their abilities. When their employers, the companies that run these refineries, cut corners and fail to implement stringent safety standards, accidents may happen. Oil refinery explosions, fires, and other accidents put workers and everyone in the general vicinity at risk.

The following oil refineries are located in the Lake Charles area:

  • Pelican Refining Company
  • Calcasieu Refining Company
  • Chestnut Petroleum Inc.
  • Hilcorp Energy Co.
  • Citgo Petroleum Corp.

The Reason Plant Explosions Keep Happening

In the industrial boom of the last several decades, oil refineries, chemical manufacturing facilities, and other enormous operations were built to accommodate America's thirst for fuel. The boom created tens of thousands of jobs for people all over the United States and even helped build whole towns. However, those plants are getting older. Companies need to do everything they can to invest in refurbishing, rebuilding, and maintaining these facilities—but instead, they're trying to lobby Congress to get away with even less oversight and less maintenance.

The result? Increased accidents. Larger explosions. More burns and plant worker fatalities. All of this is preventable if companies were willing to invest in their safety protocols and equipment. Far too few of them do.

Lake Charles Burn Injury Lawyers

With ample fuel and volatile chemicals nearby, there are few things more terrifying than an explosion at a chemical plant, refinery, or factory. With so much fuel at hand, plant explosions often turn into fires—burning for hours or even days. As a result, it's not the force of an explosion that does the most damage: it's the burning.

Our Lake Charles burn injury attorneys know what happens to people after an explosion. We know that hospitalization for a burn makes it the most expensive injury anyone can get, with bills reaching as high as $200,000. We know that petrochemical companies refuse to offer any help, even if the accident was their fault. Our burn lawyers even know what your insurance will likely do to take advantage of you while you're stressed and desperate for help. Our firm gives our clients a way to pay for treatment (present and future), put food on the table, and get their lives back to normal. Just as importantly, we give our clients a way to force their companies to reckon with what happened to them—to make them face the damage they caused.

Every case resultrepresents a worker or family that got a second chance:

  • $117 million won for a group of plant explosion survivors in a high-profile accident.
  • $87 million won for a refinery worker who was badly burned in a plant fire.
  • $39.7 million for a man who was severely burned in an explosion at a plywood plant.
  • $30 million won for workers who survived the 2013 Geismar plant explosion.

Plant Shutdown & Turnaround Accidents

Chemical plants and oil refineries need to be inspected and maintained to ensure their productivity and safety. One of the ways this is accomplished is through turnarounds, wherein the facility is shut down so equipment and machinery can be upgraded, updated, inspected, and repaired. These shutdowns are expensive, however, and this can entice some companies to put them off or avoid them altogether. Turnarounds often go over budget and shutdowns last longer than expected. They are also the site of as many as half of all plant and refinery accidents.

When workers are injured in turnaround accidents, our Lake Charles oil refinery explosion lawyers know what to do. We know how to deal with employers and their insurance companies, helping injured workers get the medical treatment and financial support they need. We even know how to counter efforts made by employers to deny, delay, or underpay plant or refinery shutdown injury claims. Turnarounds are necessary and should be completed according to current safety standards and policies. We hold corporations to the highest standard when it comes to refinery turnaround accidents and plant shutdown injuries, explosions, and fires.

Wrongful Deaths Due to Refinery Accidents in Lake Charles

Over 5000 people will die from work-related accidents and injuries this year—many of them within the walls of an oil refinery, chemical plant, or factory. The vast majority of those deaths are preventable, and some are the direct result of upper management prioritizing productivity over people's lives. Our Lake Charles wrongful death lawyers give families the tools they need to hold wrongdoers accountable and get justice for their loved one's memory. More importantly, we help families get the money they need to move forward in their loved one's absence—honoring every workers' memory by helping provide for their family's needs.

Arnold & Itkin in the News

Listen to What Other Plant Accident Survivors Had to Say

The point of our work is simple: we want to make sure you have everything you need to rebuild your life. Workers are often left out to dry after a plant explosion, forced to spend their life savings getting medical care while wondering how they're going to provide for their families—many survivors aren't able to work, leaving them in an even deeper hole. When people receive back what they lost after an accident, the law calls it "making you whole." That's why people call us–they want to be made whole, and we help them do that.

Watch our clients' storiesand hear about their experiences in the videos below:

“Definitely go with Arnold & Itkin because they do what they say they are going to do. They don’t give you the run around. You're looking for a firm that’s going to have your back and willing to go to trial and stick up for you. Go with Arnold & Itkin if you want results. They take their job seriously.”  
— Kevin Hillard

“I needed to talk, express my feelings about what I was really going through. I could always get in contact with them. This whole process, it was rough, it was hard, but Arnold & Itkin made it easy with communication, understanding, and trust. I got my life back.”  
— Johnny Mouton

Call (888) 493-1629 Today for a Free Consultation

Every client who needed answers, who needed a way to provide for themselves and their family, started right here: with a free consultation. If there was a chance that you might be able to start again, if there was a chance that your company knew that you were at risk and didn't tell you, wouldn't you want to know for sure? One phone call allows you to review your options with an attorney, get answers, and build a plan for getting you on your feet.

Here's how it works: you use the below form or a phone call to tell us what happened to you. We set up an appointment for you to review your options (for free) with a Lake Charles plant explosion lawyer, and if we can help you, we will. We take on any risk, so if you don't win anything, we absorb the costs.

This is your time. Tell us what happened—we can handle the rest. Our Lake Charles oil refinery explosion attorneys are ready to provide a free consultation at (888) 493-1629.

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