The Buzbee Law Firm Files On Behalf Of 5,000 More Residents Affected By Chevron Refinery Fire
HOUSTON, Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Buzbee Law Firm filed a new lawsuit today against Chevron USA, Inc. The claims are brought on behalf of over 5,000 residents, workers and visitors in the Richmond, California area that were affected by the Chevron refinery explosion and fire last year. The filing falls near the one year anniversary of the incident which took place August 6, 2012 and released toxic smoke into the surrounding community. Several months ago, the Buzbee Law Firm filed suit for approximately 6,000 residents, bringing the total now pursuing remedy against Chevron to more than 11,000.
The plaintiffs in the new suit are represented by attorneys Tony Buzbee and Kyle Beckley of The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston, Texas; and Nick Haney of the Law Offices of R. Nicholas Haney in Richmond, California.
According to Interim Investigation Report of the Chevron Richmond Refinery Fire, released by the Chemical Safety Board, the source of the leak was a badly corroded pipe caused by sulfidation corrosion. Sulfidation corrosion occurs when sulfur compounds, found in crude oil, deteriorate steel equipment. A post incident inspection indicated that the pipe was corroded to 40 percent thinner than a dime.
Similar sulfidation corrosion incidents have occurred on six different occasions at Chevron refineries in the past 20 years, and several recommendations to inspect the piping at the Richmond refinery had been made in the years leading up to the fire.
Chevron is accused of failing to shut down the processing unit even after the leak was discovered. “Processing fluid is often above its autoignition temperature so leaks caused by sulfidation corrosion frequently result in large fires. Chevron’s failure to shut down after discovering the leak put plant employees and the community at great risk,” said Mr. Buzbee. “Our clients have suffered unnecessary physical harm, emotional distress and economic losses due to an incident that could have been avoided had Chevron taken the necessary actions.”
According to the lawsuit Chevron also failed to notify county health officials in a timely manner and instead waited over two hours after the vapor leak began and almost ten minutes after the fire ignited to notify the county. In the weeks following the incident approximately 15,000 people sought medical treatment due to the release of various toxic chemicals into the community.
“Chevron knew that there was a problem with their unit and failed to take timely action. They put the health and safety of their own employees and the entire Bay Area community in jeopardy. This level of negligence is unacceptable and we refuse to let them go unpunished,” said Mr. Buzbee.
About The Buzbee Law Firm
The Buzbee Law Firm is a leading law firm in the State of Texas, comprised of 10 attorneys, with their principal office in Houston. The firm is known for representing working people, small businesses, and the disadvantaged. Tony Buzbee, owner and lead attorney, is a courtroom lawyer with a proven track record; he is routinely recognized as one of the best lawyers in the country. The firm’s motto, “Just Win” embodies their dedication to each case they represent.
SOURCE The Buzbee Law Firm