At the end of October, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) levied a record-breaking $87.4 million fine against British Petroleum (BP) for failure to correct safety violations after a 2005 explosion at its Texas City, Texas refinery. Fifteen people were killed in the explosion, and 170 others were injured. To contact a top explosion injury lawyer, call Passen & Powell at (312) 527-4500 for a Free Consultation.
Last week, a federal jury in Galveston, Texas, awarded $100.3 million in punitive damages to 10 plaintiffs injured from toxic emissions in 2007. The suit alleged that BP released an unknown toxic substance while workers were “repairing two units damaged in a plant-wide shut down in 2005 before Hurricane Rita.” As in the 2005 explosion, poor maintenance contributed to an unsafe environment.
Toxic substances can cause debilitating injuries, and can come from a variety of places, including workplaces, homes, even drinking supplies. Negligence often plays a large role in toxic substance cases, commonly referred to as “toxic torts” Industrial companies, for example, may dump toxic substances into drinking supplies instead of properly disposing of the chemicals. Toxic tort cases can be very complicated, and involve many players. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have a thoroughly understanding of the nuances involved, and can help you navigate your case.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) defines toxic substances as “as those chemicals present in the workplace which are capable of causing harm.” It also expands the definition of “chemicals,” including but not limited to:
When toxic substances are involved, OSHA has specific guidelines that cover such safety features are ventilation, protective clothing, disposal and reporting.
Exposure to toxic substances can cause serious, life-long health problems and permanent damage to nervous, respiratory and immune systems. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of and explosion or toxic exposure, contact the wrongful death attorneys of Passen & Powell today for a free consultation.