Residents of Crosby, Texas filed a class action lawsuit against Arkema, a global special chemicals company.
During Hurricane Harvey, the plant’s back-up generators were flooded and organic peroxides ignited.
This is the second lawsuit to be filed since the hurricane.
The lawsuit claims that testing on ash samples, water, and soil found on the plaintiff’s property revealed that residents were exposed to toxic substances released from the plant. The testing also showed traces of potentially dangerous chemicals inside people’s home.
It also claims that the 15 plaintiffs have suffered personal injury, property damage, loss of income, emotional distress, and more.
One plaintiff, Shannan Wheeler, said he found more than 40 pieces of black ash on his property, even though he was outside the evacuation zone.
He also has experienced chemicals burns and said, “After I’d mowed the yard, I was picking up grass clippings, I still had gloves on but grass had gotten up behind the part of my gloves, at first I felt stinging and some redness, thought maybe I got ants, looked no it’s not ants, couple more handfuls, it’s burning.”
Chemical explosions began at Arkema’s Crosby facility on August 31, and continued for several days. When the plant flooded during Hurricane Harvey, it triggered a chain of reactions in which the chemicals at the plant heated up and exploded, releasing smoke into the air.
Arkema commented saying, “We won’t comment on specific ongoing litigation. Based on testing results received to date, Arkema has not detected chemicals in off-site ash, soil, surface or drinking water samples that exceeded Residential Protective Concentration Levels established by TCEQ for soil and groundwater. We do not know what these lawyers tested for. We are cooperating with authorities in ongoing investigations, and we will not comment further on these lawyers’ accusations.”
The first lawsuit was filed by first responders on September 7 in district court, and sought at least $1 million.
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