Catastrophic Industrial Accident Case Results


  • A refinery coworker was putting out a slag fire. When he turned on the hose to extinguish this fire, valves and backflow preventers failed, and propane gushed out instead of water. A huge fire resulted. Our client suffered significant second and third-degree burns, broken bones, and psychological trauma.

How We Helped

  • An oil company with endless amounts of money for defense and some of the toughest defense counsel there are owned the refinery. It took an enormous amount of discovery to get information out of them to prove our case, but we did it.
  • We tracked refinery maintenance records over years and discovered that maintenance had been cut back significantly year after year to increase profits. As maintenance decreased, many of the refinery’s 60,000 valves became encrusted and corroded, piping wore out, and backflow preventers stopped working. The deeper real root cause: a conscious decision by the refinery to cut costs.

The Results

  • The outcome: At the 11th hour, while the court was picking a jury, the case was resolved on the courthouse steps. Our client received a substantial confidential amount.