Lawyer: Settlement reached for workers injured in Nederland chemical plant explosion
Published 12:04 am Wednesday, January 29, 2020
NEDERLAND —Benny Agosto Jr. of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz said he has reached a confidential settlement on behalf of clients, whose claims for millions were settled for injuries resulting from the Sunoco chemical plant explosion Aug. 12, 2016, involving Cleveland Integrity Services and Carber Holdings, Inc.
The clients include Luis Valencia, Jorge Castro, Jose Estrada, Darwin Lopez, Jose Ramos, Miguel Reynaga and Jose Torres Vera.
Sunoco Logistics hired contractors to oversee and install pipelines for their facility in Nederland. Cleveland Integrity Services was contracted to oversee the safety of the project. Cleveland directed the employees of Lexicon, another contractor, to perform welding work on a closed pipeline of the Sunoco Logistics central manifold.
Agosto said Carber improperly installed its isolation tool to close the pipeline and protect the workers from the volatile vapors. In addition to being improperly installed, Carber employees also failed to monitor the tool’s gauges.
Plaintiffs allege the Carber isolation tool failed, allowing the pipeline’s volatile vapors to come into contact with the welding work, resulting in an explosion that caused serious injuries, including burns and numerous orthopedic injuries.
Agosto said Valencia was in the direct the line of fire and was struck in the head, neck and shoulder by the isolation tool launched from the pipeline.
Castro, Estrada, Lopez, Ramos, Reynaga and Torres sustained injuries trying to escape the explosion and fire.
The trial began in Jefferson County on Jan. 21. As the parties were preparing to pick a jury, the case settled for a confidential amount.