Geismer Chemical Plant Explosion Subject to Civil Trial

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Geismer Chemical Plant Explosion

Three years ago, a fire and explosion happened at Williams Olefins complex in Geismar; it was recently cleared  for a civil trial brought by workers who were injured in the explosion. 

Judge Elizabeth A Engolio denied the complex summary judgement.  This means that there is no end to the case based on legal argument.  Therefore, a civil trial could go on against the plant.  This ruling comes a month after a district court judge in Ascension Parish "agreed to dismiss Williams from separate suits brought by several plaintiffs also alleging injury in the explosion," according to NOLA.com.  The plant is on the Ascension-Iberville line.

The explosion happened on June 13, 2013 when it was undergoing a $300 million ethylene expansion.  The explosion killed 2 people and injured 114 people.  The plant received a $36,000 fine from OSHA and many lawsuits. 

Many of the suits involve contractors that were working on the plant explosion.  Under Louisiana's Worker's Compensation law, the plant should be immune to suits from contractors because they paid worker's compensation; however, if the wrong doing was deemed intentional, contractors are allowed to go to court.  Contractors are saying the plant leadership knew that the reboiler that ruptured and sparked the fire didn't have a key pressure relief system that would have avoided the over-pressurization that caused the explosion.

Read the full story here. 

 

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