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Texas Refinery Explosion Lawyers

Undefeated Plant and Refinery Explosion Lawyers

Houston and its neighboring Gulf Coast areas make up the largest refining center in the U.S. according to data from the Greater Houston Partnership. Tens of thousands of hardworking employees clock-in at Texas refineries everyday,  processing an astonishing 5.9 million barrels of crude oil — one-third of the nation’s total refining capacity, as per the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s analysis.  The oil and gas industry, the backbone of our state’s economy, is on the rise with the Houston Chronicle reporting a resurgence of Texas oil and gas extraction and services jobs, surpassing 208,000 in 2023.

Many Texans continue to earn an honest living at our state’s plants and refineries. However, the invaluable work they do is not without its perils. The very industry that fuels our economy also carries the potential for catastrophic refinery explosions, leaving workers and their families in the aftermath seeking answers and justice.

A plant or refinery explosion can forever alter the lives of injured workers and those they love. 

The physical and emotional trauma is profound, with the impact extending far beyond the workplace, robbing victims of their ability to care for themselves and provide for their families. For those who lose a loved one, the devastation wrought by a catastrophic plant explosion or fire is only compounded by the heavy burden of grief and loss. 

Yet, all too often, victims must deal with the aftermath of a plant or refinery on their own. Despite their employer’s promises to “take care” of them and “make things right,” they’re left at the mercy of an insurance company interested in achieving only one goal: paying workers and their families as little as possible, no matter the true extent of their injuries and financial losses

Billions Won for Plant Explosion Victims

If you or a loved one were injured or tragically killed in a plant or refinery explosion, you don’t have to go it alone. Our Plant Explosion Lawyers have won Billions and successfully represented over 2,000 workers who were seriously injured, catastrophically burned, or tragically killed in some of the nation’s worst plant, refinery, and pipeline explosions in recent history, including the:

  • Williams Olefins Explosion in Geismar, Louisiana
  • BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion
  • BP Texas City Explosion
  • Imperial Sugar Refinery Explosion
  • Williams Gibson Explosion

Call 1-888-603-3636, use the “Chat Now” button on our site, or  Click Here to send us a confidential email.

Our Plant and Refinery Explosion Attorneys will answer your questions, explain your rights and options, and ensure you have the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family.

All consultations are free; you won’t pay us a dime unless we win your case.

The Worst Plant Explosions and Fires in Recent History

Hundreds of workers and contractors are seriously injured and tragically killed yearly in plant, refinery and other work-related industrial fires and explosions. Almost all are preventable and result from an emphasis on profit over safety, as illustrated by some of the worst plant and refinery explosions in recent history:

Texas City Refinery Explosion

On March 23, 2005, a massive explosion and fire rocked the BP refinery in Texas City. The BP refinery explosion resulted in 15 fatalities and injured over 170 people, making it one of the deadliest industrial accidents in the United States in decades. The blast was so powerful that it damaged nearby structures and shattered windows in buildings miles away.

The BP Texa disaster began when an isomerization unit exploded, releasing a cloud of highly flammable hydrocarbons. The subsequent investigation shed light on several systemic failures, including inadequate maintenance procedures, inadequate training of personnel, and a corporate culture that prioritized cost-cutting over safety.

Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers recovered over $200 million for workers injured in the BP Texas City explosion.

Imperial Sugar Explosion and Fire

A massive explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery rocked the small town of Port Wentworth, Georgia, around 7:00 p.m. on February 7, 2008, setting off a fire that would continue to burn for a week. Eight workers died at the scene, and six others eventually succumbed to their injuries. At least 38 additional workers were injured, many of whom sustained severe burns.

A year and a half later, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board characterized the Imperial Sugar explosion as “entirely preventable,” blaming the tragedy on the massive amounts of combustible dust allowed to accumulate throughout the facility. The report further noted that the company had been aware of the issues with combustible dust since at least 1967. Workers also testified that spilled sugar was knee-deep in places and sugar dust had been allowed to accumulate in massive amounts throughout the plant, coating equipment and other elevated surfaces.

Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers negotiated highly favorable and confidential settlements for over 100 workers injured during the Imperial Sugar explosion.

West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion

In April 2013, an explosion at a West Texas fertilizer plant killed 15 people, injured 160 others, and destroyed dozens of buildings in the Central Texas community, including a nursing home and three of the town’s four schools.

Investigators later determined that the explosion was largely preventable. West Fertilizer Company had been storing large quantities of ammonium nitrate in wooden bins and buildings not adequately designed to contain such hazardous materials. The facility also lacked proper fire safety measures, including sprinkler systems and firewalls, that could have contained or mitigated the fire before it reached the ammonium nitrate. There were also issues related to the regulation and oversight of the storage and handling of ammonium nitrate.

Williams Olefins Explosion

In June 2013, the rupture of a heat exchanger at the Williams Olefins plant in Geismer, Louisiana, resulted in the release of flammable hydrocarbons and subsequent fire. The Williams Olefins explosion resulted in two workers who were killed, and at least 167 others who were injured.

The root cause of the explosion was attributed to a design flaw in the heat exchanger. The flaw allowed for a rapid release of highly flammable hydrocarbons, which, upon contact with an ignition source, led to the explosion and fire. The subsequent investigation revealed defficiencies in the plant’s maintenance, inspection, and safety protocols, including inadequate safeguards to prevent and mitigate such an event. Investigators also determined that the company had not effectively identified and addressed the risks associated with the heat exchanger.

Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers won a confidential settlement for over 65 workers injured during the Williams Olefins plant explosion. 

Williams Gibson Pipeline Explosion

In October 2015, a pipeline explosion at the Williams Companies’ Transco Compressor Station 62 facility in  Gibson, Louisiana, claimed the lives of four contract workers and critically injured another. 

The subsequent investigation revealed that Transco failed to stop work when a combustible mixture of gas and air was detected inside a 42-inch liquids pipeline and allowed welding to start, which caused a series of explosions and the fire.

Our Undefeated Pipeline Explosion Lawyers successfully represented several victims of the Williams Gibson explosion.

Common Causes of Plant Explosions

Plant explosions can occur at oil refineries, pipelines, natural gas processing facilities, manufacturing plants, fertilizer plants, and any other workplace where volatile hydrocarbons, chemicals and materials are present.

While industrial sites are inherently dangerous places, far too many workers are injured or tragically killed in preventable plant explosions because of safety violations, unsafe equipment, or improper training.

Some of the unsafe conditions and practices that often result in catastrophic fires and explosions include:

  • Violations of OSHA Safety Rules: The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations are designed to establish safety standards, procedures, and protocols to minimize workplace hazards and protect workers and the surrounding environment. When these rules are not adhered to, the consequences can be dire.
  • Failure to Properly Train Workers/Contractors: Hazardous materials and complex machinery are the norm in any industrial setting, and plants and refineries are no exception. Comprehensive training is essential to ensure all personnel understand the specific safety protocols and procedures required for their tasks. When training is insufficient or lacking, workers may not be aware of the risks associated with their roles, how to identify potential hazards, or how to respond in emergencies. This lack of knowledge can result in critical errors, misjudgments, and a failure to act promptly when problems arise, 
  • Inadequate Lockout/Tagout Procedures:  Lockout/tagout procedures are designed to ensure the safe maintenance and servicing of machinery by isolating hazardous energy sources and to prevent unexpected start-ups during maintenance or repair. When these procedures are insufficient or improperly implemented, accidental activation may result in the release of stored energy, the initiation of uncontrolled chemical reactions, or the triggering of mechanical failures, all of which can culminate in a violent explosion,
  • Defective, Poorly Maintained, or Otherwise Dangerous Equipment: When machinery and equipment are not regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced as needed, they become prone to mechanical failures, such as leaks, ruptures, or electrical malfunctions. These failures, in turn, can lead to the release of hazardous substances, uncontrolled chemical reactions, or ignition sources, creating an environment ripe for an explosion. 
  • Chemical Leaks or Spills: Chemical leaks and spills are key contributors to plant explosions as they introduce hazardous substances into the workplace environment. Should these chemicals come into contact with ignition sources or other incompatible substances, they may trigger uncontrolled chemical reactions, fires, and, ultimately, explosions.
  • Electrical Malfunctions: Sort circuits, frayed wiring, or faulty equipment can generate parks or excessive heat. In areas where flammable gases, vapors, or dust are present, these sparks can serve as ignition sources, setting fires and explosions. Electrical issues can also disrupt critical safety systems, including emergency shutdown mechanisms or alarms, impairing a plant or refinery’s ability to respond effectively to hazardous conditions.
  • Outdated Facility Infrastructure, Equipment, and Technology: Outdated equipment and technology can be more prone to mechanical failures, such as leaks, ruptures, or electrical malfunctions, and may lack modern safety features and fail-safes. Older equipment may also be ill-suited to handle complex industrial processes,  increasing the risk of accidents and explosions. 
  • Failure to Properly Store Chemicals or Other Volatile Materials: Inadequate storage can result in the mingling of incompatible substances, increasing the risk of chemical reactions, fires, or even explosions. Furthermore, improper storage can lead to leaks or spills, exposing workers to toxic and flammable substances. The potential for runaway chemical reactions and fires grows exponentially when volatile materials are not stored according to established safety standards.

 Common Injuries from Plant Explosions

Some of the most common injuries suffered by plant explosion victims include:

  • Burns: Industrial explosions generate extreme heat and allow for the uncontrolled release of caustic liquids and gases. Workers exposed to these conditions will often suffer 2nd and 3rd burns, resulting in tremendous pain, as well as life-long scarring and disfigurement.
  • Fractures and Herniations: Debris combined with the impact from the blast can cause serious orthopedic injuries, including fractures, broken limbs, and herniations and strains in the neck, back and spine.
  • Amputations and Lacerations: Falling or exploding equipment and debris can result in amputations, limb loss and severe lacerations. Like burns, lacerations sustained in a plant explosion can cause disfigurement, scarring, and life-long pain.
  • Hearing Loss: The loud blast from a plant explosion often causes workers in the vicinity to experience hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and other serious hearing problems that can continue to get worse without proper medical treatment.
  • Lung Damage from Smoke Inhalation: Fires generated by plant explosions produce large amounts of poisonous smoke and gas. Breathing and inhaling these toxins can cause serious, and sometimes permanent, lung damage that result in chronic coughing and shortness of breath, as well as loss of lung function and other long-term lung injuries.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries: Any impact to the head or skull can cause serious and life-changing traumatic brain injuries.

Concussions and other forms of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries are often undetected at the ER and by physicians who are not properly trained to recognize the symptoms associated with Traumatic Brain Injuries.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD can cause the victims of explosions or any other extremely stressful event to experience nightmares, personality changes, irritability, anxiety, depression and other behavioral changes that many physicians often overlook.

Unless diagnosed and properly treated, PTSD will often become worse and substantially interfere with everyday functioning.

What to Do After a Plant Explosion

If you or a loved one were involved in a Plant, Refinery or Pipeline Explosion, the company and its insurers will immediately begin taking steps to prevent you from being able to recover for your injuries and damages.

The company’s goal is ALWAYS to save money and pay as little as possible, which is why it’s important that you immediately take steps to start protecting your rights and future.

Here’s what you should do to counter attempts by the company to prevent you from being able to recover damages for your injuries:

  • Notify Employer: Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Ensure a formal incident report is filed, and request a copy for your records.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Get checked out at the ER, even if you don’t think you were hurt or your injuries seem minor. Many serious injuries are not always immediately apparent, especially in the aftermath of an explosion or other traumatic event. If you are injured, going to the ER will ensure there’s an official record in case the plant operator or insurer tries to dispute your claims.
  • Preserve Evidence: If safe to do so and you have access to the scene, try to preserve evidence that may be relevant to the incident. This can include taking photographs and videos and collecting contact information from witnesses.
  • Document Your Account: Write down your personal account of the incident at the first opportunity you have to do so, including details of what happened, what you saw, and who was present. Memory can fade over time, so having an immediate record can be valuable.
  • Follow Medical Advice: Continue medical treatment as recommended by healthcare professionals. Missing appointments or failing to comply with your doctors’ advice gives the plant owner and its insurer reason to cast doubt on your injuries. Be sure to keep records of all medical bills, prescriptions, and therapies.
  • Preserve All Documentation: Maintain copies of all documents related to the incident, including medical records, incident reports, and communication with your employer and their insurance company.
  • Don’t Speak to Other Parties’ Insurance Companies: Do not engage in conversations with the insurance companies of other parties involved without consulting an experienced plant attorney, and refrain from signing anything or providing a recorded statement. No matter how much they might pressure you, you’re not obligated to do so.
  • Avoid Discussion of Your Case: Don’t discuss the incident, your injuries, or your case on social media or with anyone other than your spouse or attorney. Any such statements or conversations can potentially be used against you.
  • Don’t Accept Quick Settlement Offers: Be cautious about accepting the first settlement offer or any lump sum from the company or its insurer, especially if it is made quickly. These initial offers are unlikely to fully cover your expenses and losses as they’re usually intended to benefit their bottom line – not the injured worker and their family.

Your Employer has One Priority: Avoiding Responsibility and Saving the Company’s Money

Your employer and their insurance/claims agents may tell you that they’re going to “take care” of you and your family, but in the end, the company will ALWAYS do everything possible to avoid responsibility by trying to limit what it pays to its injured workers and their families.

One way the company tries to avoid responsibility is by telling workers that they’re prohibited from filing a lawsuit to recover your damages because of workers’ compensation laws. What they won’t tell you is that there are often many exceptions that, if established, do allow you to recover your full damages.

Our Plant Explosion Lawyers have repeatedly defeated similar attempts to limit our clients’ recoveries to workers’ compensation benefits and will do whatever possible to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery possible.

Undefeated and Billions Won for Plant Explosion Victims

Our Plant Explosion Attorneys have continuously set records for our clients against the largest oil and gas and chemical companies in the world.

Our approach has not only enabled us to remain undefeated but it’s also resulted in over $1 Billion in recoveries and the largest verdicts and settlements in the country.

Just recently, for example, our Plant Explosion Lawyers negotiated a $100 Million settlement on behalf of workers injured in a refinery explosion.

For three years, the plant owner and its team of attorneys fought to limit our clients’ recovery to just $50,000 in workers’ compensation benefits. We were able to defeat their efforts, which resulted in one of the largest plant explosion settlements in the country.

Contact Our Plant Explosion Lawyers for a Free Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here.

If you or a loved one were injured in a plant or refinery explosion, our Undefeated Explosion Lawyers can help. We’ll answer all your questions, go over any documents your employer has asked you to sign, and fully explain all of the legal options available to you.

Having won Billions in record setting verdicts and settlements for more than 2,000 injured workers in every major plant explosion in recent history, our Undefeated Refinery Explosion Lawyers have the knowledge, skill, and experience needed to take on the biggest companies in the world and win.

All case consultations are free and, because our firm only represents clients on a contingency basis, you pay nothing unless we win your case.

If you or a loved one were injured in a plant explosion, contact our Undefeated Explosion Lawyers for a Free, No-obligation Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here.