Holding Corporations Accountable
Perry & Haas Settles Six of the Major British Petroleum Cases
Six Confidential Settlements
Honor of Our Clients and Their Families
civil suits to criminal charges
Rejects Safety Plan 2 1/2 Yeas Before Blast
Honor of Our Clients and Their Families
Susan Taylor, deceased
Henry Enrique Rivera
it comes to holding corporations accountable, Perry & Haas
has made that a practice. This is just one of the
reasons David Perry and René Haas were sought
by other attorneys and the victims involved in
the deadly BP refinery explosion in Texas City
last year, which killed 15 people and injured more
than 170 others. They successfully represented
six of the most severely injured or killed employees
and their families. Most of the settlements occurred
in July and August of 2005, with all being settled
prior to Fall, 2005.
Civil Suits to Criminal Charges
These deaths and injuries were unnecessary. BP had been cited repeatedly for
hazardous working conditions before the March 23, 2005 explosion. Now worker
safety has been elevated with the announcement of the investigation of criminal
charges by the FBI and criminal investigators from the Environmental Protection
Agency. Further civil charges by the EPA are also being investigated because
of the huge release of chemicals and pollutants that resulted from the blast
even 28 days later.
respect the American corporations who put safety
first. However, no one and no corporation is above
the law. When corporations know a problem exists
- and do nothing about it - they must be held accountable.
At Perry & Haas , we will continue to take
them on. One corporation, one case at a time.
Larry Thomas was one of the project superintendents for JE. Merit contractors.
At the time of the explosion he, along with a number of Merit employees, was
located in the Merit construction trailer/office. The trailer was destroyed
by the explosion and Mr. Thomas was killed. Thomas left behind a wife and three
Mrs. Dean was the daughter of Larry Thomas, and was also in the Merit trailer
at the time of the explosions. She was rendered unconscious and buried beneath
rubble in the trailer. She was rescued from the trailer by her husband, Ralph
Dean, who was working near the trailer at the time of the explosion. Alisa
Dean suffered second and third degree burns to both arms and hands, and right
leg, as well as inhalation burns to her lungs and a head injury with loss of
consciousness. Mrs. Dean remained ventilator dependent for several months,
and was the last of the injured persons to be released from the acute care
hospital in Galveston.
Susan Taylor was in the Merit trailer at the time of
the BP explosions and was killed. The plaintiff in
the lawsuit involving Taylor's death was her father,
Tyrone Smith was in the Unit being started up at the time of the explosion.
He suffered burns to 87% of his total body surface with 30% of the burns third
degree. Amputation was required of necrotic parts of Mr. Smith's right thumb,
right fifth digit, left second digit, left third digit, left forth digit, left
fifth digit, and left thumb. Pining was done to both fifth digits; left third,
forth and fifth digits; and right second digit. Mr. Smith suffered respiratory
failure with ventilator dependency for several months.
Mr. Henry Rivera was in the Merit trailer at the time of the explosion. He
suffered through and through laceration to the lower lip with the mandible
degloved (the periosteum, the fibrous connective tissue attached to the bone
on the lower jaw, was peeled off). The mandible was fractured and unstable
and a titanium plate was used to repair the jaw. The mental nerve (enervates
the lower teeth and face) was severed. The severance of the nerve cannot be
repaired and results in multiple permanent changes to his face. Mr. Rivera
also suffered severe injury to his left leg and knee. He also sustained an
open fracture of skull base comminuted fractures of the fifth finger of his
right hand and fracture of the fourth metacarpal of the right hand.
Tracy Donaie was in the Merit trailer at the time of the explosions. He suffered
burns over 18% of his total body surface with 16% being third degree burns.
Burns are noted to the right hand and arm, face, and right and left legs with
most of the third degree burns to the left lower extremity and right upper
extremity. Procedures relating to Mr. Donaie's burns include compartment release
of the right forearm and multiple debridement and grafting procedures to burn
areas. There were exposed tendons and some graft failure of the left lower
extremity. His right hand has many exposed tendons. Mr. Donaie suffered severely
comminuted fracture of the right heel, and a markedly displaced fracture to
his left heel. Mr. Donaie also suffered fractures of L1 and L2 and fractures
of the thoracic vertebrae and was ventilator dependent from 03/23/2005 to 03/30/2005.
Rejected Safety Plan 2 1/2 Years Before Blast
Files indicate contractor's flare proposal that could have saved lives not
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
Dec. 31, 2005Two and a half years before the fatal March 23 explosion at the
BP Texas City plant, managers rejected an outside contractor's proposal to
attach a flare to the vent stack that overflowed that day, according to e-mail
obtained by the Houston Chronicle.BP didn't pursue the option -- which likely
would have prevented the blast that claimed 15 lives -- because the company
hadn't done a federally required safety study on the isomerization unit, the
two e-mail messages indicate.
valve study," a detailed evaluation of the unit's
pressure relief system, would have been needed to
confirm that the flare was big enough to handle the
flow of liquid and gas, according to the e-mail messages.
the complete article >
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Past success in litigation does not guarantee success in any new or future
Our web site describes some of the cases that the attorneys of Perry & Haas have worked on in the past.
Our description of those cases is summary in nature.
You should be aware that the results obtained in each of the cases we have
worked on was dependent on the particular facts of each case. The results of
other cases will differ based on the different facts involved.