Following the catastrophic explosion at a fertilizer distribution and storage plant in Texas last month, in which the building caught fire and then exploded as firefighters were attempting to douse the flames, several individuals have begun to file personal injury lawsuits. The total extent of damage done remains unknown, though it is estimated that at least 150 buildings were damaged or destroyed, at least 15 people were killed, and many more were injured or reported missing.
Of the two lawsuits recently filed, one was brought by insurance companies on behalf of various individuals and businesses accusing the plant’s parent company of negligent operation of the location, which allegedly led to the accident.
The second suit was filed by a woman who lived in a neighboring apartment, which was destroyed by the blast. She is seeking up to $1 million due to loss of her possessions, and the physical and emotional injuries she suffered as a result of the explosion.
Further lawsuits are expected against the above named and other defendants. For example, the manufacturers of the fertilizers that were being stored at the facility are other potential defendants.
The last inspection performed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reportedly occurred 28 years ago, and uncovered at least five “serious” violations. One of these violations dealt with the way in which anhydrous ammonia was allegedly improperly handled and stored. According to a report released by the plant in late 2012, it was then storing 110,000 pounds of the chemical,in addition to 540,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate.
The explosion at the fertilizer plant, and similar factory explosions, may implicate various legal doctrines and legal claims for potential victims. As the facts above illustrate, there may be a cause of action for any of the following:
Due to the extent of the explosion in this case, there are also many different potential plaintiffs. The more obvious potential plaintiffs are employees at the plant, with perhaps the least obvious being neighboring property or business owners, who may have suffered economic damages due to lost business, in addition to potentially incurring actual physical property damage.
The personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC has many years of experience in working with individuals and families who have suffered because of the personal injury or wrongful death of a loved one. Our dedicated attorneys have represented families who have suffered from wrongful deaths caused by car accidents, medical malpractice, hospital negligence and other traumatic events. If you believe that your loved one died because of the wrongful or negligent actions of another, please contact the hardworking personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen by calling 1-800-654-1949 or by visiting our website, in order to schedule your initial free consultation.
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