LA PORTE, Texas – New details are being released explaining what happened inside the LyondellBasell facility during the deadly chemical leak, according to a lawsuit filed against the company.
Two days after the chemical leak at the La Porte facility that left two dead and dozens injured, a lawsuit was filed by attorney Kurt Arnold, a founding partner at Arnold & Itkin, for a worker who was injured in the incident.
“The lawsuit names several defendants in addition to LyondellBasell, and it alleges that negligence and gross negligence on behalf of the defendants contributed to the mass casualty incident,” according to the news release.
Hours later, Adam Lewis, a trial attorney for the Arnold and Itkin Law Firm, told KPRC 2 the firm now represents 10 individuals who were working at the LyondellBasell facility at the time of the incident.
They were contracted through a company called Worley Parsons for an expansion project, he said. Lewis said all of the workers were in different areas of the plant, some were where the leak originated, and others were in other areas performing a variety of tasks.
“All of a sudden, there’s a rapid gas leak, and what ended up coming out were fumes and clouds that had kind of a yellowish haze to it,” Lewis said. “They reported that it rapidly grew. It started engulfing workers at the plant.”
Although the firm’s 10 clients were released from the hospital, Lewis said some of them are still throwing up and experiencing excessive nose bleeds, amongst other things.
“Given the incident and the aftermath of it, our clients have suffered kind of a litany of injuries between orthopedic injuries in the neck, back, and knees, a lot of respiratory complications, reports of clients still throwing up, nose bleeds, excessive nose bleeds, still at this time. And while it’s still too early, I imagine there’s going to be a lot of individuals who are going to suffer from the long-term stress and the emotional kind of distress associated with this type of an accident,” Lewis said.
Lewis said some of his clients could never return to work or never want to step foot inside of a chemical plant out of fear of another accident.
“Our firm has extensive experience in representing individuals who have been involved in horrible, unfortunate and needless accidents like this one. Most times, clients, when they’ve suffered serious orthopedic injuries, it takes a while to treat and understand those injuries, and some of them can never go back to work physically, due to the injuries they have,” Lewis said.
By filing the lawsuit, Arnold said it will allow the law firm to conduct its own investigation into what led to the deadly incident, and hopefully, prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
In the release, it says that Arnold’s law firm has “represented workers injured in mass casualty events at LlyondellBassell facilities in the past, including the 2019 Houston Refinery Explosion.”
Following the lawsuit, LyondellBasell released a statement that said:
“LyondellBasell is aware of the lawsuit. Since this is now pending litigation, we are not able to comment further.”