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Texas City is at the center of America's chemical processing industry. The region includes the nation's second- and third-largest oil refineries, as well as chemical plants and gas manufacturing facilities. The thousands of workers and engineers at these plants are the backbone of the nation's fuel production industry (and thus, the backbone of the whole economy). Unfortunately, as important as they are, the largest petrochemical producers in the world put their own workers at risk on a daily basis.
As plants continue to age out, it's more vital than ever to replace old parts and create safer processes. Meanwhile, companies are trying to spend even less on maintenance.
The Texas City plant accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin have seen it happen again and again: numerous workers get injured in a refinery explosion (or any other disaster), but the company does nothing to help them recover. Instead of the faithful support they've been told to expect, workers are left out in the cold—forced to watch helplessly as their savings are devastated by medical costs while they're unable to work. It's unacceptable. Our firm works with Texas City plant accident survivors to ensure that they have money to pay for groceries, keep their homes, pay for treatment, and provide for themselves and their loved ones.
The law calls it "making you whole." If there was a way to put your life back together, would you take it? Contact us for a free consultation learn about your rights and options.
In terms of scale and loss of life, the Texas City Disaster is the single worst explosion in US industrial history (and one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in world history). It was allegedly caused by a lit cigarette that was left in the cargo hold of the SS Grandcamp, which was holding 2,200 tons of ammonia nitrate. A fire broke out on the ship the morning of April 16, 1947, that eventually detonated the ammonia nitrate. The resulting shockwave could be felt 250 miles away, and the explosion's impact eventually killed 560+ people.
The BP Texas City Refinery Explosion of 2005
At the time, the BP Texas City refinery was the second-largest oil refinery in the state and the third-largest in the nation. It was also among the most run-down, and in January 2005 BP commissioned a private firm to inspect the plant. What they found inspired a report that said, "We have never seen a site where the notion 'I could die today' was so real." Rather than shut down, BP continued refinery operations. Just weeks afterward, a malfunctioning alarm and a wrongfully-closed valve led to an explosion that killed 15 people and injured 180 others.
Marathon Texas City Refinery Fire of 2016
Sadly, this isn't even the most recent plant explosion to take place in Texas City. However, it is the most recent one to result in catastrophic injury to a worker. One of Marathon's plants caught fire in the early hours of January 11, 2016 in a unit that was down for planned maintenance. One of the 3 injured workers was flown to Galveston for emergency treatment after suffering burns in the head, face, neck, arms, and chest.
Oil Refineries & Chemical Plant Operators in Galveston County
Companies pay lip service to safety, but our plant accident attorneys spend most of our time talking to employees at these plants—the unspoken ending to "Safety First!" is "...unless it affects our bottom line." It's why some oil and gas companies treat safety as a checklist to be rushed or an obligation to be avoided. Ultimately, some plant explosions occur because safety doesn't come firstat these facilities.
Our Workers Win Billions with Our Resources & Guidance
When it comes to Texas City plant explosions, few allies have our resources, our experience, and our tireless dedication to the long-term good of refinery workers. Many of our clients had their careers cut short or lost a loved one in a plant accident. Without the means to provide, their injuries didn't just harm them—the injuries harmed their family's future. We made sure our clients could face the future with dignity and hope. More importantly, we made sure their families had what they needed to thrive.
$97 Million Settlement – We negotiated a massive settlement for multiple burn victims whose plant caught fire. We ensured that they got the medical treatment they needed.
$39.7 Million Verdict – Our plant injury lawyers represented an explosion survivor who was working a plywood plant. His result will go toward paying for the 7+ surgeries he needed due to the accident.
$18.5 Million Verdict– Our refinery accident lawyers represented a group of 4 workers who were injured in the 2013 Williams Olefins explosion in Geismar. For this case, we held a Saudi Arabian petrochemical company, SABIC, accountable for their share of the fault.
$15.45 Million Verdict– This verdict was won by 4 workers from the Williams Olefins refinery in Geismar. The defendant initially tried to dodge responsibility, but the jury found the companies involved 98% at fault for the explosion.
The 2013 Geismar Plant Explosion
In one of our most memorable plant explosion cases, we represented nearly a dozen workers who survived the 2013 Williams Olefins plant explosion in Geismar. The explosion was the result of years of mismanaged safety, complacency, and profound negligence. Williams Olefins was warned about a particular design in their reboiler system that would turn the reboiler into a pressurized bomb under the right circumstances.
Rather than provide a permanent fix that would have slowed down production, Williams Olefins marked the safety change as "complete" when it wasn't (according to the Chemical Safety Board report). As a result, the exact problem they were warned about occurred. On June 13, 2013, a massive explosion rocked the plant, killing 2 workers and injuring 167 others. The workers came to us for help because Williams Olefins and its parent company refused to take responsibility. The company continued to refuse responsibility right up until the jury handed down two multi-million dollar verdicts, forcing the company to take their workers' safety seriously.
Texas City Burn Injury Attorneys
One of the most common effects of an explosion is severe burns. Chemical plants, refineries (especially oil refineries), and factories all have ample amounts of fuel and volatile chemicals, which often turns explosions into sustained fires. These fires can scorch workers' lungs and create life-threatening tissue damage.
Our Texas City burn injury lawyers have extensive experience investigating and litigating burn injuries. We know the sort of damage these plant explosions can cause—both to its victims and to the families who bear the costs of taking care of them. Burns are the most costly catastrophic injury anyone can sustain—hospitalization alone could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The goal of every claim is to lighten the load so that families can afford to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
Every year, 2.3 million people die from work-related accidents or work-related diseases. Given that working in chemical plants, factories, and refineries is some of the most dangerous work in the United States, a high number of those deaths are likely inside the walls of an industrial work site. Arnold & Itkin forces companies to reckon with the damage they cause to families when workers die in explosions, fires, toxic releases, or other types of plant accidents. We help families recover the money they need to put their loved one to rest properly while providing for their families. If your loved one suffered an accident-related death, your family deserves to move forward without fear. Our wrongful death firm wants to help make that happen.
What Other Plant Burn Survivors Had to Say
Our Texas City plant explosion attorneys don't look at the dollar amount as the end goal—we look to our clients' lives as the end goal. If you have everything you need to face the future, then we've done our job. If you were able to force your wrongdoer to face what they did to you, then we've done our job. The law calls it "making someone whole" when you receive back what you lost. In the end, that's our job: making you whole.
"This firm has impacted every aspect of my life—past, present, future. They pulled off some miracles. They stood up for me when nobody else would." - Christopher Devall
Contact Our Texas City Plant Personal Injury Attorneys: (888) 493-1629
If you're not sure if you have a case, there's an easy, free, and simple way to find out: contact our firm for a free case consultation. Here's how it works—you'll call us or send us a message using our simple online form. Shortly after, we'll schedule a time for you to talk with an attorney about what happened to you. They'll go over your legal and financial options, helping you make the choice that makes sense for you. If we can help, we'll front the cost of your claim from beginning to end. There's no bill, no invoice, nothing. Everything is advanced toward your case result, including our fee. If you win nothing, we absorb the costs and the risk. All you need is to be willing to try.
To start, just fill out our simple online form or call us at (888) 493-1629. Your consultation is free!
Why Is Texas City a Hotspot for Plant Explosions?
Texas City is home to the second- and third-largest oil refineries in the United States, not to mention a number of gas manufacturing facilities and chemical plants. Thousands of workers put their safety at risk at these plants and refineries, due to the physical nature of the work and the fact that they’re dealing with hazardous and highly flammable substances on a regular basis. As the equipment at these plants gets older and when safety guidelines are not followed to the letter, accidents happen. And these accidents aren’t minor. They have the potential to injure hundreds of workers and claim many lives.
What Types of Safety Violations Cause Plant Explosions?
Chemical plants and oil refineries are full of hazards. It takes a laundry list of safety measures to protect workers, and some companies gloss over or completely omit certain guidelines to try to protect their bottom line. Inspecting, maintaining, and replacing plant equipment can be expensive. Instead of replacing a pipe that may be decades old, plant operators may choose to try to repair it or may leave it alone, only for it to fail and cause serious injuries and multiple deaths. A failure to inspect and maintain equipment, inadequate safety measures, lack of safety and operational training for workers, poor labeling of equipment or chemicals, and the use of impure chemicals are all examples of safety violations that can cause Texas City plant explosions.
What Is My Plant Explosion Case Worth?
It’s impossible to put a price on life-altering injuries or loss of a loved one. However, a plant explosion victim’s only recourse is civil court. The damages awarded in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can help a victim and his or her family build a more stable future. The value of every case is different, but our team at Arnold & Itkin has recovered hundreds of thousands, millions, and even tens of millions of dollars for injured plant and refinery workers. We recommend talking to an attorney about your case to see how to move forward.