The Texas fertilizer plant that exploded last month, killing 14 people, injuring more than 200 others and causing tens of millions of dollars in damage to the surrounding area had only $1 million in liability coverage, lawyers said Saturday.
Tyler lawyer Randy C. Roberts said he and other attorneys who have filed lawsuits against West Fertilizer’s owners were told Thursday that the plant carried only $1 million in liability insurance. Brook Laskey, an attorney hired by the plant’s insurer to represent West Fertilizer Co., confirmed the amount Saturday in an email to The Associated Press, after the Dallas Morning News first reported it.
“The bottom line is, this lack of insurance coverage is just consistent with the overall lack of responsibility we’ve seen from the fertilizer plant, starting from the fact that from day one they have yet to acknowledge responsibility,” Roberts said.
Roberts said he expects the plant’s owner to ask a judge to divide the $1 million in insurance money among the plaintiffs, several of whom he represents, and then file for bankruptcy.
He said he wasn’t surprised that the plant was carrying such a small policy.
“It’s rare for Texas to require insurance for any kind of hazardous activity,” he said. “We have very little oversight of hazardous activities and even less regulation.”
On April 17, a fire at the West Fertilizer Co. in West, a town 70 miles south of Dallas, was quickly followed by an earth-shaking explosion that left a 90-foot wide crater and damaged homes, schools and nursing home within a 37-block blast zone. Among those killed were 10 emergency responders.
State and federal investigators haven’t determined what caused the blast.
The plant had reported just months before the blast that it had the capacity to store 270 tons of ammonium nitrate, but it was unknown how much was there at the time of the explosion.
Roberts said that even without a conclusive cause, negligence lawsuits can proceed.
“The law allows courts to presume negligence when something happens that would not ordinarily occur but for negligence,” Roberts said. “A fire might be an unavoidable accident, but an explosion of this magnitude resulting from a fire is not an unavoidable accident.”
Lawyers will look for any other assets the company might have and search for other responsible parties, he said.
April 20th, 2013
April 19th, 2013
Sheilla is very much in love and ready to marry TOMORROW!
So happy to share the wedding details! Congrats to the couple!
The 2 time Olympic gold medalist will tie the knot with boyfriend Brenno Blassioli tomorrow in Campos do Jordão, a municipality in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.
Source shares details of the wedding…
“Sheilla is anxious but she’s not nervous. This is going one of the most memorable moments in Sheilla’s life. What makes the wedding even more special is the presence of her grandmother who has an illness.”
The source adds that due to Sheilla’s busy volleyball schedule within the last few months, she hired a wedding planner to ensure that her dream wedding will be possible.
“She still tried to be hands on with the planning but the Superliga took much of her time. Regardless, the wedding is set tomorrow. Sheilla and the Brenno will be surrounded with their loved ones and it’s going to be a very beautiful event. It could be the volleyball wedding of the year!”
What about her volleyball teammates?
“Of course they will be around! As a matter of fact, Fabiana, Adenizia and Thaisa are the bridesmaids. Her other teammates are also invited.
Will Mari be around?
“Wait and see.” says the source.
We’ve also learned that the couple met in 2011. Brenno is a former basketball player and currently works as a member of the coaching for a domestic club team.
As for Sheilla’s volleyball commitments this year?
“Sheilla together with Fabiana and Jaqueline are taking a year off from the National Team. They’ve been playing for a long time and they really need a break to focus on their personal lives. They’ve all talked to Coach Guimaraes and he wholeheartedly approved their requests.”
We totally agree! Those 3 have been playing non-stop for Brazil and have achieved so much in almost a decade.
“Sheilla might even start a family soon to have enough time to prepare for the 2016 Olympics. She’s very much in love, so in love.” ends the source.
I’m at Kaiser Permanente Parkview!
December 06, 2012 at 07:51AM