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Undefeated Houston Chemical Plant Lawyers
Houston, Texas Chemical Plant Accident Lawyers
The Houston Metro Region – including La Porte, Texas City, Pasadena, Baytown, Pearland, Deer Park, Channelview, and League City — is home to the largest concentration of petrochemical plants and storage facilities in the world.
While there’s no doubt that Houston’s many chemical plants and refineries comprise a vital component of the region’s economy, these industrial sites also pose significant hazards to both workers and those living in surrounding communities.
When plant operators fail to follow and comply with required safety, storage, and maintenance procedures, the potential for catastrophic explosions and chemical releases grows exponentially.
Billions Won Following the Worst Industrial Disasters in History: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consult
Our Undefeated Houston Chemical Plant Injury Lawyers have won billions for our clients and their families following the worst plant, refinery, and pipeline disasters in history:
- #1 Largest Oilfield Burn Injury Settlement in US History
- $100 Million Settlement for workers injured in a refinery explosion
- $75 Million Settlement for workers injured in a refinery explosion
- the largest accident verdicts and settlements in Texas and Louisiana
If you or a loved one were injured or tragically killed in a Chemical Plant Accident or Explosion, our lawyers will:
- Make sure you have access to the best doctors and medical providers in the country, and
- Devote whatever time and resources are necessary to holding the companies accountable and ensuring that you and your family receive the maximum recovery possible
Consultations are always free and confidential, and you’ll pay nothing unless we win your case.
The Dangers of Toxic Chemicals and Gases
Houston is home to the world’s largest chemical plants and refineries, including facilities that are owned or operated by British Petroleum, ExxonMobil, LyondellBasell, and Dow Chemical, to name a few.
Virtually every one of these facilities use and produce a variety of volatile and extremely hazardous chemicals, including benzene, mercury, silica, methane, propane, butane, ethylene, propylene, butadiene, and methanol — all of which can pose a significant health risk to workers and surrounding communities.
Respiratory exposure to any one of these toxins, for example, can lead to breathing problems, nose bleeds, headaches, vomiting, and rapid drops or increases in blood pressure. Skin contact is also likely to cause severe chemical burns.
These chemicals have also been linked to serious and long-term health problems, including cancer, blood disorders, brain damage, and liver and kidney problems.
Causes of Chemical Releases, Leaks, and Spills
Having successfully represented industrial workers who were seriously injured and tragically killed in connection with every plant, refinery, and pipeline disaster in recent history, we’ve learned that every major plant and refinery accident and chemical release could have been prevented by management, had they simply followed their safety procedures and focused on safety, rather than profits.
Whether it’s violating federal and state safety regulations, standard operating procedures, or company safety policies, owners and operators routinely prioritize profits and production deadlines at the detriment of the health and safety of their employees and contractors.
Some of the most common causes of chemical releases, leaks, and spills include:
Failure to Timely and Properly Perform Scheduled Maintenance
From heat exchangers and pressure vessels to storage tanks and pressurized lines, the operations at chemical plants, refineries, and other industrial sites require a broad range of equipment and infrastructure that must be properly maintained to ensure safe and efficient performance.
When management fails to comply with federal and state safety regulations, the risk of an explosion or chemical release increases significantly. Owners and operators have a duty to ensure that all equipment and infrastructure are regularly inspected and in good repair. Malfunctioning machinery, corroded pipelines, and other worn and outdated equipment must be replaced as quickly as possible.
Failure to Properly Train Employees and Contractors
Every employee and contractor is required to receive comprehensive safety and process management training before being authorized to work at a plant, refinery or other industrial facility.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for plant and refinery operators, who are more focused on profit than the safety of their workers, to skip training and rush jobs, which can lead to serious and catastrophic accidents and explosions.
Inadequate Safety Reviews and Process Hazard Analysis (“PHAs”)
Plants, refineries, and other industrial operations are required to comply with federal and state safety laws, which require JSAs, PHAs, and other critical safeguards designed to prevent catastrophic accidents and explosions at petrochemical and industrial facilities.
Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for investigators to find serious failures and flaws in a facility’s safety procedures following catastrophic accidents, explosions, and chemical releases.
Disregarding and Ignoring Important Safety Warnings
Companies frequently fail to identify and eliminate the root cause after encountering near-misses and other warnings, so that they don’t create delays that interrupt their production schedules—and profits.
These same conditions and safety hazards, when left uncorrected, often lead to catastrophic explosions and/or chemical releases that have the potential to seriously harm both workers and the surrounding community.
Major chemical releases have also been triggered by earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and other natural disasters. Operators and owners have a duty to plan for weather emergencies and other natural disasters and ensure all hazardous materials are secured in a manner that will withstand severe conditions.
Common Chemical Plant Release Injuries & Illnesses
During a major chemical release, workers and those living downwind from the plant may experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, eye and skin Irritation, and nose bleeds. But depending on the substances involved, they may also face a significant risk of serious injury and long-term illness:
- Burns: Chemical burns to the skin and inhalation burns to the mouth, throat, and lungs are the most common injuries associated with chemical releases, leaks, and spills. Because chemical burns aren’t always immediately apparent and extremely difficult to treat, victims often develop severe infections, disfiguring scars, and other long-lasting complications.
- Respiratory Problems: Chemical vapors released during an explosion or fire can cause serious breathing problems if inhaled. Dust, asbestos, silica, and other particulates can scar the lungs, resulting in chronic coughing, asthma, and other long-term respiratory issues.
- Sensory Damage: Toxic chemicals can damage the eyes and nose, leading to partial or total vision loss and robbing victims of their sense of smell.
- Neurological Damage: Some toxic chemicals can interfere with receptors in the brain. For example, research has shown that two solvents, trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PERC), can greatly increase the risk for Parkinson’s disease. Other hazardous substances, including mercury and lead, have been linked to brain damage, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems in young children.
- Cancer: Certain toxic chemicals have been linked to cancer, including mesothelioma, non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, certain types of leukemia, and cancers affecting the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract.
- Aplastic Anemia: This serious blood disorder occurs when the body fails to produce enough new blood cells. While autoimmune disorders and certain viruses trigger aplastic anemia, the condition has also been linked to toxic exposure.
- Reproductive Issues: Pregnant women exposed to toxic chemicals may suffer a miscarriage or give birth to a child with birth defects. Some hazardous substances have also been linked to infertility in both men and women.
What to Do After a Chemical Release
If you or someone you love were injured or tragically killed in connection with a plant or refinery explosion, you must understand that time is your enemy. In all likelihood, the companies responsible for the disaster are already taking action to avoid accountability and limit victims’ financial recovery. If you don’t act quickly to protect your future, you and your family might never be able to obtain maximum compensation for all of your injuries and losses.
First, Make Sure You’re Safe.
In the immediate aftermath of a release, workers should alert their coworkers and supervisors to the situation. Anyone who experienced direct exposure should remove their clothing and flush the skin with water for at least 15 minutes to avoid chemical burns.
If you live in an area affected by a nearby chemical release, head indoors, listen for official advice, and be alert for any shelter-in-place or evacuation orders.
Head to the ER and Seek Medical Treatment
If you were injured while working at a plant or refinery, you should always get medical treatment at the ER or your doctor immediately, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. Some injuries, including chemical burns, might not be apparent right away, while seemingly minor injuries might only be the first sign that something is seriously wrong.
If you live in an area impacted by a chemical release, you should seek immediate medical attention if you or anyone in your family experiences a headache, nausea, vomiting, nose bleed, or other sign of exposure to toxic chemicals.
Remember, the company and their insurers will do everything possible to undermine your injuries and decrease the value of your case. If you don’t seek medical attention immediately after the accident or explosion, you’re giving them ammunition to use against you.
Don’t Trust the Company to “Take Care of You.”
Never place your trust – or your family’s future – in the hands of the company or its insurer, no matter how much they promise to “make things right” and “take care of you.” They’re only interested in avoiding responsibility by downplaying your injuries or illness or blaming you and your coworkers for the accident.
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you give a recorded statement, sign ANY paperwork, accept any money from the company (other than your regular paycheck), or agree to participate in any mass settlement program before speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer who has successfully represented the victims of chemical releases, both in and out of the courtroom.
Keep All Doctors Appointments
Whether you were hurt at work or suffered an illness from toxins released in connection with a nearby chemical accident or explosion, it’s very important that you keep your medical appointments and follow your doctor’s recommendations about your treatment and physical limitations.
The company and its insurer are looking for any excuse to downplay the severity of your injuries and decrease the value of your case. By missing appointments and failing to follow your doctor’s orders, you’re providing the ammunition they need to do just that.
Contact an Experienced Chemical Plant Injury Lawyer
When an industrial disaster releases toxic and volatile chemicals, workers and surrounding community members are far more likely to suffer debilitating injuries, long-term health problems, and could even die. As a result, potential verdicts and settlements related to these catastrophes tend to be much larger and may even break records.
For that reason, plant operators, their insurance companies, and their attorneys will do just about anything to deflect responsibility and avoid paying victims and their families the compensation they’re owed, even if that means:
- Destroying or “losing” critical evidence proving they were at fault.
- Seeking conflicting statements from plant workers or “outside experts” to blame others for the release.
- Forcing workers to see doctors paid by the company or its insurer in an attempt to minimize their injuries and limit their recovery to workers’ compensation benefits.
- Hiring private investigators to follow, photograph, record video, and monitor the social media posts of victims and their families to dispute the seriousness of their injuries.
- Pressuring victims to accept an inadequate settlement offer or participate in a company-sponsored claims process, with the stipulation that they waive their right to sue for any future injuries and illnesses that might result from toxic exposure.
To avoid making mistakes that could reduce the value of your case by millions of dollars, it’s critical that you contact an Experienced Chemical Plant Accident Lawyer who has the experience, knowledge, and resources take on the largest Oil and Petrochemical Companies in the world and not only win, but set records.
Undefeated Houston Chemical Plant Accident Lawyers: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation.
Our Houston Chemical Plant Injury Lawyers have won Billions – including the #1 Largest Verdicts and Settlements in History – for industrial workers who were seriously injured and tragically killed in connection with the worst plant, refinery, and pipeline disasters in history.
If you or a loved one were injured in a chemical plant accident or explosion, call 1-888-603-3636, use the chat feature on our website, or click here to send us a confidential email through our Contact Form.
We’ll answer all of your questions, explain your rights, and provide the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family.
Consultations are free, and because we work on a contingency fee, you won’t pay a dime unless we win your case.
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