Helping Victims of Explosions & Injuries at Chemical Plants & Oil Refineries
Throughout Louisiana, hard-working men and women show up to work every day at chemical plants, factories, and oil refineries—and, far too often, their safety is put on the line. Their lives are put at risk. All so that the company can make a few more dollars. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we have seen it happen time and time again. The industrial workers who perform this important but hard work are endangered by aging equipment, operator errors, and safety policies and procedures that are written down by the company but never actually followed.
We refuse to stand by and let that happen.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a plant or refinery accident, such as an explosion, we are here to help you. We have represented clients in hundreds of cases such as this one, recovering billions over the years. This has resulted in record-setting victories (including a $117 million verdict that set the record for the largest single-event injury verdict in Louisiana history) and hundreds of cases that are worth $1 million or more.
At our law firm, we are more than talk. We are experienced trial veterans. Our lawyers have tried more cases in the last 10 years than most lawyers do during their entire careers. From the 2005 BP Texas City Explosion to the 2013 Williams Geismar explosion, we have been involved in some of the nation’s most tragic plant and refinery accidents—helping demand justice for its victims and restoring hope for its survivors.
Call (888) 493-1629 to schedule a free consultation with our Louisiana refinery explosion lawyers. We get answers for our clients and fight to see justice served. Let us help you.
Fire & Explosion at Westlake Chemical South Near Lake Charles, Louisiana
The communities of Sulphur and Lake Charles, Louisiana were rocked by yet another incident at the Westlake Chemical South plant, which is located on PPG Drive in Westlake. At about 10:45 a.m. on January 26, 2022, an explosion shook the area. Witnesses saw a mushroom-shaped cloud bloom into the sky, and officials said that it was a tank of ethylene dichloride that exploded. Emergency crews responded quickly to the Westlake Chemical plant explosion, and local schools implemented a shelter-in-place order to protect students and faculty from any potential exposure.
Ethylene dichloride, also known as 1,2-dichloroethane, is an odorless liquid that smells like chloroform. It is known to cause cancer in humans, and exposure can have immediate consequences as well. Inhaling ethylene dichloride can cause throat and nose irritation, skin exposure can cause burns, and continued exposure can lead to headaches, loss of consciousness, and dizziness.
Six people were injured in this chemical plant explosion. One was treated at the scene and five others were transported to local hospitals for treatment. The cause of the incident is still under investigation.
Our Help After the Williams Olefins Plant Explosion (Geismar, LA)
On June 13, 2013, an explosion rocked the small town of Geismar, an unincorporated community just 20 miles from Baton Rouge. The Williams Olefins plant suffered what was later described as a “catastrophic” failure of a heat exchanger, triggering an explosion that could be felt for miles around the plant. In the aftermath, two individuals were killed and more than 100 of the employees onsite that day were injured.
Attorneys Kurt Arnold and Kyle Findley immediately stepped up to help represent the rights of those injured that day. We launched our own investigation into the incident and worked tirelessly to demand our clients be rightfully compensated for the injuries and trauma they endured.
During two separate trials, we helped prove negligence on behalf of the defendants, describing how the plant had been undergoing a $400 million expansion project—a project that the CEO and board of directors chose to do while keeping the plant in live operation. Even though everyone agreed it was safer to close the plant during the construction, they chose otherwise—choosing profits over the safety of their own team.
Despite the defenses and arguments raised by the other side, our firm used our vast resources, experience with these cases, and countless hours of work to develop the case. Ultimately, we were successful in both of the Louisiana plant explosion trials. In the first, we won a $15.45 million verdict. In the second, we won an $18.5 million verdict.
2013 Plant Explosion Southeast of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
In 2013, an ordinary day at work turned into a nightmare when the catastrophic failure of a heat exchanger trigged an explosion that could be felt for miles. That day, more than 100 employees suffered severe, life-threatening injuries. Two were killed. The location of the plant was Geismar, Louisiana, just 20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge—and what happened that June would send ripples throughout the community for years.
When the dust settled, and the survivors realized how little help they would receive from the company, many turned to our firm. Attorneys Kurt Arnold and Kyle Findley spearheaded the case, helping multiple individuals who had suffered from the cataclysmic events that occurred on June 13. We refused to take no for an answer and fought tirelessly, using our vast resources and experience to uncover evidence, find documents, and build an argument that proved how the company’s negligence endangered their employees.
Over the course of two separate trials, we fought for our clients. We beat back the charges raised by the other side and the arguments that they attempted. In the end, we successfully recovered more than $30 million on behalf of our clients, winning $15.45 million in the first case and then $18.5 million in the second.
Common Causes of Catastrophic Plant & Refinery Accidents
While each plant and refinery accident is different, the cause is almost always similar to one another. In almost every situation, these cataclysmic events can be traced to negligence, recklessness, or choices that prioritize profit over safety. Often, this can be seen in the use of outdated plant equipment. Although there are refineries and plants across the country and throughout Louisiana, most of them are 50 to 60 years old. It creates a recipe for disaster—mixing old, outdated equipment with dangerous chemicals and enormous pressure.
“They make so much money from these plants, and they invest so little back. I’m always shocked at how they foresaw the problem, they knew it was a problem, and they just didn’t fix it. It shocks me.” - Kurt Arnold, Plant Accident Attorney
Other causes of plant accidents include the following:
Poor training of industrial workers
Dirty, impure chemicals
Poor facility maintenance
Unsafe working conditions
Chemical plant accidents put everyone in the area at risk. They can endanger entire communities and the environment. The same applies to refinery accidents. If the hazardous chemicals and substances at these facilities are released into the air or water, they can cause significant and lasting harm. Our Louisiana plant and refinery accident law firm won't stand for this. We stand up for workers injured in these accidents, from explosions to fires to falls, and we help individuals and businesses in affected communities come forward. We help people rebuild their lives and livelihoods, because it's the right thing to do.
Plant Turnaround Accidents
One of the most dangerous times to be a Baton Rouge plant or refinery worker is during a turnaround. This is a necessary process wherein a plant or refinery is shut down for a time so equipment and machinery can be inspected, maintained, and/or replaced or upgraded. According to some estimates, about half of all plant accidents occur during turnarounds. Nearly all turnarounds go over budget and take longer than expected, and this makes it more likely for plant and refinery operators to delay shutdowns (which in itself is dangerous.)
If you were involved in a turnaround accident in Baton Rouge or anywhere in the country, you can find answers and help at Arnold & Itkin. These are complicated cases that may involve shared accountability between large corporations, who are less than happy to admit fault in any way, shape, or form. Fortunately, our turnaround injury lawyers know how to build compelling cases against the most formidable opponents. Our hard work, intelligence, and commitment to our clients have led to record-breaking recoveries for those who need them most.
Explosion at the Westlake Chemical Ethylene Refinery Near Sulphur, LA
Routine maintenance turned disastrous when at least 5 people were injured by an explosion at the Westlake Chemical Petro Complex 2 Unit on September 27, 2021. The explosion at the ethylene plant was felt throughout the community, with reports from residents of Sulphur, Lake Charles, Hammond, and Lafayette. Ethylene is an extremely flammable substance, and among the injured is at least one employee with severe burns across half their body. The cause of the refinery accident is still under investigation.
Chemical Plant Accidents in Baton Rouge & Surrounding Areas
At Arnold & Itkin, our Baton Rouge chemical plant accident lawyers help those facing the consequences of catastrophic accidents. From fires to explosions to severe injuries sustained by exposure to dangerous chemicals such as sulfuric acid, you can count on our attorneys to be there for you when you need it most. We have stood by the side of countless individuals just like you and helped demand the justice that they deserve. We encourage you to call us today. From the minute you contact us, we will be there to answer your questions and get the answers you deserve. Why did this accident happen? Who is responsible? Will it happen again? We will not stop until we get the truth for our clients and will do everything we can to hold accountable parties responsible for what they did—fighting to ensure you are not only properly compensated for the damages you sustained in the chemical plant accident, but also taking measures to stop it from happening again in the future. To learn more, give us a call.
Hear from Other Injured Industrial Workers We’ve Helped
Since we were founded in 2004, our Louisiana personal injury law firm has been passionate about helping industrial workers. We have seen time and time again how major corporations have failed to protect them—failed to stop these ultimately preventable accidents from happening and then failed to help them recover once they do.
We have proven that we are not scared to take on these large companies and their team of lawyers. We are not scared when they make up excuses, try to pass off responsibility, or stonewall. We’re not scared because we have taken on the largest corporations in the world, and we’ve won. From Exxon to BP, we’ve stood toe-to-toe with industrial giants and forced them to do what’s right for our clients. There's no opponent that would cause our Louisiana industrial death law firm to back down or settle for less than what our clients need.
To learn more about our firm and what it’s like working with us, all you need to do is listen to their stories.
“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 felt like family because they were there to listen and hear—not just brush you off because ‘you're just a client.’ 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're very professional. 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. They not going to back down.” - Maurice Dilworth
Plants & Refineries in Louisiana
The following are some of the plants and refineries throughout the state of Louisiana:
Alliance Refinery (Phillips 66), Belle Chasse
Baton Rouge Refinery (ExxonMobil)
Chalmette Refinery (PBF Energy)
Convent Refinery (Shell Oil Company)
Cotton Valley Refinery (Calumet Lubricants)
Garyville Refinery (Marathon Petroleum Co)
Krotz Springs Refinery (Delek)
Lake Charles Refinery (Calcasieu Refining)
Lake Charles Refinery (Citgo)
Lake Charles Refinery (Pelican Refining)
Lake Charles Refinery (Phillips 66), Westlake
Meraux Refinery (Valero), Meraux
Norco Refinery (Shell Oil Company)
Port Allen Refinery (Placid Refining)
Princeton Refinery (Calumet Lubricants)
Shreveport Refinery (Calumet Lubricants)
St. Charles Refinery (Valero), Norco
St. Rose Refinery (Shell Oil Company)
The following are companies that operate in Louisiana:
Wrongful Death in a Louisiana Chemical Plant or Refinery Accident
Explosions are catastrophic. With the level of havoc they wreak, workers and anyone at or near the plant may be at risk of dying immediately in the blast or succumbing to their injuries later on. The same applies to many oil refinery accidents or other incidents at industrial sites. When this happens, families are left without the ones they love. They have so many questions, but no straight answers. Why did this happen in the first place? Who is responsible? What can they do to see justice served?
Our Louisiana industrial death lawyers at Arnold & Itkin can help during these difficult times. We are known nationwide for uncovering the truth about chemical plant explosions and oil refinery accidents, fighting for the answers and compensation that families so desperately need to move on.
Get a Free Case Review with Our Louisiana Plant Accident Lawyers
Regardless of whether you were catastrophically injured or if you lost someone to wrongful death, our plant accident law firm is here to take care of you. We are aggressive attorneys who genuinely care about helping make this situation right for you. From the beginning until the end, we will work tirelessly to ensure your best interests are looked after and your rights are protected. You can trust in our team of Louisiana industrial wrongful death attorneys to do what's right—giving you a voice in a time when you may feel like you have none.
Take the first step today. Call (888) 493-1629 to receive a free consultation. If we take your case, you only pay if we win!
What Happens When a Plant Explodes?
Plant explosions are catastrophic events involving chemical spills and reactions that release heat, fire, and toxins through an initial, forceful blast. They can injure dozens of workers and may claim many lives. Depending on the type of plant and what substances are released into the air and water after an explosion, nearby residents, businesses, and communities may also be affected. The environmental impact of a Louisiana plant explosion may be long and widespread.
What Should I Do After a Plant Explosion?
If you were working at a Louisiana plant during an explosion, you need to act fast and seek medical attention. With plant explosions, you could be at risk of suffering serious harm from whatever chemicals and toxins were released into the air, that came into contact with your skin or clothing, or that have affected the water and soil in the area. You should also talk to an attorney about your rights. You may be able to recover money for your medical care and lost wages from a workers’ compensation claim, plus additional damages from an injury lawsuit. Recovering full benefits will make all the difference as you work to put the pieces back together after an explosion.
How Can Your Firm Help Me After a Louisiana Plant or Refinery Accident?
Because plant explosions and refinery accidents cause so much harm, they are a top priority for our firm. Our team believes in exposing the acts of negligence, safety violations, and wrongdoing that cause accidents at chemical plants and refineries. We’ve successfully represented hundreds of hard-working men and women who have seen their lives forever changed as a result of plant explosions and other catastrophes. We’ve fought tirelessly for families who have lost loved ones in these entirely preventable accidents. Our Louisiana chemical plant accident attorneys are known for getting results, and we’re ready to see how we can help you.