Texas Neighbors Sue BP as “Known Felon”

Thursday, December 30, 2010
BP is facing a $10 billion class action lawsuit filed by those living near its Texas City oil refinery, which has been the site of explosions, pollution leaks and numerous fatalities in recent years.
The plaintiffs characterize BP as “a known felon and serial polluter who purposely releases on a routine basis, toxic gases into the air,” which has threatened the livelihood of neighborhoods near the refinery.
On March 23, 2005, a series of explosions and fires killed 15 workers at the third-largest petroleum refinery in the country. Since then, four more workers have died at the refinery, according to the lawsuit.
In April and May of this year, the refinery released 538,000 pounds of pollutants into the atmosphere, including 17,000 pounds of the carcinogen benzene, leading to a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas.
BP has been fined $70 million by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as a result of the Texas City explosion. Since 1995, BP’s various United States operations have paid $1.6 billion in fines and settlements.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Class Action Lawsuit against BP (U.S. District Court, Southern Texas) (pdf)
Texas Sues BP…But Not over Oil Spill (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
BP is Too Big to Punish (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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