BP Settles Refinery Explosion with $32M in Donations

BP Settles Refinery Explosion with $32M in Donations

BP has reached a $32 million settlement with the daughter of two workers who died in the Texas oil refinery explosion in March, 2005.

To settle the suit, BP will pay compensation of an undisclosed amount to the woman, and also donate between $32 million and $38 million to various schools, hospitals, and worker training programs.

The daughter, Eva Rowe, said BP “killed my parents because they wanted to save money.”

Rowe chose the recipients of the donations. She chose an adult burn center, a program for safety and training of chemical plant and refinery workers, a process safety center, St. Jude’s cancer research hospital, and some schools her mother at.

Every other wrongful death suit against BP had been settled out of court during the past 18 months, but Rowe continued to press the issue because she wanted to expose documents about BP’s safety procedures and practices to the public.

The Explosion

According to reports, the explosion occurred when a drum was overfilled with highly flammable hydrocarbons. The drum’s contents were spilled. Gauges and alarms were supposed to warn of the danger, but were not functioning properly. The liquid and vapors that spilled out were then ignited by a nearby device.

Fifteen people were killed by the blast, and more than 170 were injured. The explosion was felt for five miles around.

There are at least 100 claims pending against BP, and more than half of them are injury-related. The rest deal with damage to property. BP claims to have put $1.6 billion aside to settle all of the claims.

The Cause

John Mogford, BP Senior Group Vice-President, Safety & Operations, said, “Our investigations have revealed significant deficiencies in the work and safety culture at Texas City. The question, of course, is why these deficiencies developed – and why they weren’t sufficiently identified and addressed before the explosion.”

During a news conference in October, the Chairman and CEO of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board claimed BP knew about the many safety problems before the explosion. “What BP experienced was a perfect story where aging infrastructure, overzealous cost-cutting, inadequate design, and risk blindness all converged,” she said.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an industrial accident, please contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you recover whatever compensation you may be entitled to.

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