On July 31st, 2019, a fire at the ExxonMobil facility in Baytown, Texas sent large plumes of black smoke into the sky. The Baytown ExxonMobil Olefins plant fire injured 66 workers, released millions of gallons of firefighting wastewater into the Houston Ship Channel, and unleashed dozens of contaminants into the air around the plant, including butene, butadiene, and carbon monoxide. Two workers suffered second- and third-degree burns as a result of the fire. Of the dozens of people who were injured in the explosion and fire, Arnold & Itkin is representing multiple workers harmed in this tragic incident.
In addition to those directly injured in the blast, authorities also issued a shelter-in-place order that impacted nearly 5,000 people in the area. Soon after the incident, the state of Texas sued ExxonMobil for environmental violations, including the wastewater dumped into the Houston Ship Channel, as well as for contaminants released into the air. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties exceeding $100,000.
Details About the ExxonMobil Baytown Fire Lawsuit
During the ExxonMobil Baytown fire, one of our clients suffered severe injuries to his neck, back, head, and other parts of his body, for which he continues to receive extensive medical treatment. Leading up to this incident, ExxonMobil failed to provide workers with adequate equipment and training, among other examples of negligence. The Houston Chronicle reported on our impending lawsuit, in which we are hoping to get our client everything he needs to move forward with his life.
"Filing this lawsuit will allow him and his family to use the civil courts to discover what happened to cause this catastrophic explosion and to hold Exxon accountable," said Attorney Kyle Findley to reporters. "All refinery accidents are preventable, and it's important for the workers and the community to find out what could have prevented this disaster."
Texas Plant & Refinery Explosions Leave Citizens Concerned
Within the last few months, Texas refineries have caused numerous catastrophic accidents. On March 16, a fire broke out at a hydrotreater in the facility and forced the refinery to cut back its gasoline production. The ExxonMobil Baytown petrochemical complex has also had various incidents, with the most recent occurring nearly five months ago. Two recent fires at Houston plants also forced thousands of people to shelter in place, resulting in two injured workers and one worker killed.
Cities throughout Texas are tired of the constant environmental violations and hazards caused by plant and refineries throughout the state. The senior director of Climate and Health nonprofit, Elena Craft, expressed her concerns, saying, "yet another fire at a Houston-area chemical plant has injured workers and forced nearby residents to shelter in place for their safety. We do not have to live like this. Chemical fires and explosions, like the one Wednesday at the ExxonMobil plant in Baytown, are largely preventable.”
"Ending this madness requires the EPA, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and local governments to invest in robust monitoring, increase inspections, and use data and technology to predict and prevent future disasters," she says.
Our Baytown plant and refinery explosion attorneys will work tirelessly to help our clients get the compensation they deserve for the injuries they sustained and for the negligent behavior of his employers.