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615 N. Upper Broadway
Suite 1415
P.O. Box 1500 (78403)
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Phone: 361-880-7500
Fax: 361-887-9507

OUR CASES:   Aircraft & Vehicle Safety  |  Consumer Products  |  Worker & Workplace Safety  |  Healthcare Safety  |  Public Awareness

Safety Issues

Holding Corporations Accountable
Perry & Haas Settles Six of the Major British Petroleum Cases

Six Confidential Settlements

  • In Honor of Our Clients and Their Families
  • From civil suits to criminal charges
  • BP Rejects Safety Plan 2 1/2 Yeas Before Blast

    In Honor of Our Clients and Their Families

    Larry Thomas, Deceased
    Alisa Dean
    Susan Taylor, deceased
    Tyrone Smith
    Henry Enrique Rivera
    Tracy Donaie

    When 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.

    From 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.

    We 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 children.


    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, Ronald Duhan.


    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.


    BP Rejected Safety Plan 2 1/2 Years Before Blast
    Files indicate contractor's flare proposal that could have saved lives not pursued

    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.

    That "relief 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.

    Read the complete article >

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    Perry & Haas does not offer any guarantee of case results.
    Past success in litigation does not guarantee success in any new or future lawsuit.
    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.