HOUSTON – The worker who was injured during the explosion at the INEOS cumene production facility in Pasadena last month has since filed a lawsuit against the company for more than $1million.
On March 22, officials responded to reports of a fire at the INEOS plant located in the 3500 block of Pasadena Freeway. Fire officials said the fire, which was ruled accidental, was caused when a liquid petroleum gas explosion occurred while liquid bulk trucks were delivering raw materials.
Now, less than a month later, worker Arturo Jimenez is filing what is believed to be the first lawsuit stemming from the event.
Jimenez said he was at the Pasadena plant when he was thrown to the ground during the explosion.
“Plaintiff and his coworkers immediately attempted to evacuate the facility but soon realized they were trapped in the facility due to various exits not being open,” the lawsuit states.
Jimenez said as a result of the explosion, he suffered significant physical injuries to his neck, back, spine and other parts of his body.
“There are far too many explosions in our community. Chemical plant explosions are frequently mass casualty events, and injuries incurred during the initial blast are often exacerbated as workers flee the facility. Escaping a chemical plant fire is a traumatic experience because everyone is afraid of a secondary explosion,” said Jimenez’s attorney, Kurt Arnold of Houston-based law firm Arnold & Itkin.
Arnold’s firm has represented hundreds of workers injured in similar explosions and fires, including the April 2022 Valero explosion in Meraux, LA; the December 2021 Exxon Mobil explosion in Baytown, TX; the February 2021 Air Liquide explosion in Pasadena, TX, the April 2019 KMCO explosion in Crosby, TX, the 2018 Kuraray explosion in Pasadena, TX, and many others.
“In each chemical plant explosion we’ve investigated, we have discovered that management ignored fundamental safety protocols which created the opportunity for the disaster. Chemical plant explosions are preventable if owners and operators would choose to put safety first and prioritize their workers’ lives over profits,” Kurt says.
The lawsuit asserts gross negligence and seeks punitive damages.