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Houston Plant Explosion Lawyer

Houston Plant Explosion Attorneys

The oil and gas industry is a key industry in Texas, employing hundreds of thousands of workers across our great State.  When one is negligently injured because someone cut corners, a plant explosion lawyer can help. Places next door to Houston like Texas City and Pasadena have some of the largest oil and gas refineries in the United States. Unfortunately, working in the oil and gas industry can be very hazardous.  Because of the risks that oil and gas workers face on a day-to-day basis, there are volumes of Federal laws promulgated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) aimed at protecting workers and preventing refinery accidents. If you are a victim of an oil and gas refinery accident, you need a knowledgeable refinery accident attorney who knows how to research the law and use it to hold the refinery owners responsible for their negligent failure to enforce the safety rules.  Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C.,  today for a 100% free case evaluation. Get advice from a plant explosion lawyer you can trust.

Refinery Accident Law Covering Plant Explosions

Texas Oil RefineryThere are actually several different kinds of laws at play when a refinery accident occurs. First off, whether your employer provides worker’s compensation affects whether you can bring a claim against them. Worker’s compensation bars a recovery absent gross negligence as to employees and employees of staff leasing companies if both the company and the staff-leasing company offer worker’s comp coverage.  This will not prevent you from suing contractors or product manufacturers of defective products and/or equipment that failed. State personal injury tort law will apply to these claims allowing you to file a civil lawsuit. If the incident arises from an offshore accident, then maritime laws may also apply. Lastly, some industries are federally regulated meaning that federal laws may apply.

Damages from Plant Explosions

In addition to injury to people, the widespread effects can cause damage to property as well. As we saw in the Gulf oil spill disaster, a chemical released into the environment can cause huge losses to businesses that depend upon the earth’s natural resources for their livelihood.  Fishermen, farmers, and the tourist industry are just some examples of businesses that may sustain lost profits when a toxic tort occurs.  Your home may lose resale value if your property is in an area that was subject to a toxic chemical release.  Here are some of the many damages that are available for you to pursue as compensation in the event of a plant explosion:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future physical impairment
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Past and future emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of household services
  • Lost profits and lost revenues
  • Past and future scarring and disfigurement
  • Fair market value for the replacement or repair of property damage
  • Loss of society
  • Loss of consortium
  • Remediation costs

If you suspect that you may have been damaged due to a plant explosion or a toxic chemical release, call Simmons and Fletcher for a free case evaluation today. Call 800-298-0111.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Below are our plant explosion FAQ to help answer some of your questions as you deal with the aftermath of a traumatic event such as a refinery accident. If you have lost a loved one or been seriously injured in a plant accident and still have questions about the legal process, call us for a free consultation. Let our attorneys fight for you and guide you through the process.

Why Are Refinery Accidents So Dangerous?

An oil refinery is an industrial processing plant that separates the hydrocarbon molecules of crude oil thereby breaking the crude down into various components. Many of these components are flammable, explosive, corrosive, and/or carcinogenic. The facilities also tend to be very large and handle a large volume of dangerous components as a result.

Petroleum is just one of the components produced by refineries. Other components generated from refining crude oil are used as the raw materials that chemical plants need to make plastics, nylon, detergents, solvents, and other household items. The process in and of itself involves using extreme heat, energy, and chemicals to convert matter from one form to another (such as liquids to gasses). The gasses and liquids are often highly flammable and can result in massive explosions if improperly mixed, ignited, or handled. Once these chemicals ignite, it can often take more than just water to put them out. To add insult to injury, studies are now revealing that the AFFF Firefighter Foam contains cancer-causing PFAs–so workers can be harmed by exposure to the fire suppression foam as they fight to control the blaze.

Because the materials being handled are dangerous, numerous safety precautions must be exercised. Proper use of safety equipment is an absolute must. Proper training of all employees, contractors, and management is critical. Lockout/Tagout safety procedures must be observed by all persons present at the industrial plant.

What are the Causes of Refinery Accidents?

Not all oil and gas refinery accidents are the same. Different refineries may focus on different products and handle different volumes. However, they all have to have certain basic parts that make them dangerous. Refineries require a storage area for crude oil. They require a distillery and various processing units that use energy to separate the hydrocarbon molecules. They require chemical cooling towers that cool down the heated components after separation. Refineries require a place and procedure to store and transport the petroleum and various chemical components once they have been separated. Also, Federal Law requires that any polluted soil from chemical spills or releases must be safely stored until it can be taken to an approved toxic clean-up site and purified. Thus, refineries require a storage area for polluted waste.

Accidents may occur during any of the steps of the process. Equipment failures are a major cause of oil and gas refinery explosions. Equipment failures can occur at the distillery, the processing units, or in the storage facilities. Whether it be due to a corroded pipe or a faulty valve when the equipment fails the resulting toxic chemical release may expose only a few in the immediate area to danger or it may result in a natural gas explosion with widespread effects.  Exposure to chemical releases at oil and gas refineries is another type of accident our refinery accident lawyers have successfully handled in our practice. Our consultations are 100% free with no obligation, so why not talk to a plant explosion lawyer today?  Call 800-298-0111 now.

What are Common Causes of Plant Explosions?

Some of the common causes of injuries due to plant explosions include:

  • Failure to maintain working emission monitoring systems
  • Failure to comply with toxic spill clean-up regulations
  • Failure to maintain proper leak detection systems
  • Failure to have remote shut-off safety systems.

There are volumes of federal Laws regulating emissions and safety procedures around large plants.  Unfortunately, there is insignificant funding for the government to maintain a close watch on these companies to ensure compliance. As a result, much of the compliance is left up to the companies themselves. Unfortunately, in the corporate world,  the importance of safety often yields to profits.  Without the proper safety gear and procedures in place in advance, controllable plant fires often must be left to burn out on their own.  This results in further injury to workers, area residents, and the environment.

A Brief History of Texas Plant Explosions From 2013-2020

2019 saw an alarming number of plant explosions and industrial accidents in Houston and surrounding areas.  Many of the chemicals produced in the manufacturing process are known carcinogens and can be highly toxic when released into the atmosphere via plant fires.  If you or a loved one has suffered injury, illness, or death as the result of a plant explosion, a plant explosion lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve.  Call a plant explosion attorney whose family is right here in Houston– giving us a vested interest in protecting people from toxic releases caused by plant fires and explosions. Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. have represented the rights of injured workers in Southeast Texas for over 40 years.

Sadly, toxic chemical releases due to plant explosions and plant fires have become too common of an occurrence in Texas.  Some examples of recent plant explosions include:

  • The Crosby Arkema Plant Explosion of 2017
  • The ITC Deer Park Plant Explosion of 2019
  • The Port Neches Plant Explosion of 2019
  • The Watson Grinding & Mfg. Explosion of 2020

Each of the above plant explosions resulted in the loss of human life as well as millions of dollars of damage to people and property.

Why Do Plant Explosions Often Cause Widespread Damage?

Oil and gas refineries are typically built away from the main population for more reasons than just the sulfuric odors. While explosions and chemical releases obviously can cause serious injury and death to the employees working in and around the industrial plant, they can also cause injury and damage to people situated in the near vicinity of the refinery. The toxic chemicals released can carry for miles in the air, causing symptoms that range from minor eye irritation and sinus issues to permanent internal scarring of the throat and lungs.  Permanent optic nerve damage can also result due to exposure to the toxic chemicals released. If you live around a refinery that has reported a toxic release, you should not take any symptoms you experience from a potential chemical exposure injury lightly. Seek immediate medical attention immediately.

Call a Plant Explosion Lawyer

Dealing with the aftermath of a plant explosion can be overwhelming for the victim’s family. Talk to a plant explosion lawyer at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., today to get your questions answered by a legal professional with experience in these matters. We work on a contingency fee basis which means that there are no upfront charges to you and you do not pay unless we win your case. Our attorney’s fees and legal expenses are waived if there is no recovery to pay for them.



If you have a personal injury case and would like to know whether it is something that our law firm can help you with, please fill out the form to the right and submit your information or pick up the phone and call us between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM on Monday through Thursday and 8:30 AM  and 5:00 PM on Friday and out intake team can go help evaluate your case and determine who the best person is for you to talk to about your case. Consultations are 100% free and you have no obligation to hire us.


Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., rooted in Christian values, exclusively handles personal injury cases, advocating for the rights of accident and negligence victims. Our Houston-based team, dedicated to compassion and excellence, handles cases across car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, and other types of cases with a commitment to personalized care. Upholding integrity and client-focused service, we strive for impactful legal outcomes. For a detailed understanding of our approach and team, visit our attorneys page.

Contact us for a free case assessment.