Worker burned in explosion sues Westlake Chemical

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, October 5, 2021

By John Guidroz

A Houston law firm filed suit Monday against Westlake Chemical following a Sept. 27 explosion at the Sulphur plant that injured six contract employees who were working on a planned maintenance turnaround.

Attorneys Mo Aziz, David Baluk, and Morgan Mills of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz and Stogner, filed the suit in Harris County Texas. It states that Gregory Green of Houston, was working as a hydro blaster when the Petro 2 ethane cracker exploded around 11 p.m. and caused a flash fire. Green was engulfed in flames and knocked unconscious.

The lawsuit states that Green suffered various injuries from the explosion, including a broken right leg and pelvis, second-degree burns to more than 40 percent of his body, ruptured eardrums and “additional injuries to his head, neck and back.”

Green is seeking more than $1 million in compensation for various damages, including mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, bodily impairment and disability, medical expenses, lost wages or loss of earning capacity, disfigurement and scarring, and other costs.

The suit alleges that Westlake Chemical, Westlake Chemical Energy and Westlake OpCo. “committed acts and omissions, which collectively and separately constituted negligence,” including a failure to properly supervise the site; failure to provide a safe workplace; failure to oversee safety in the work area; and failure to warn of a dangerous situation. It also alleges Westlake Chemical violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.
The lawsuit stated that Westlake OpCo owned, occupied and/or controlled the area where Green was injured, and that it “had actual knowledge or reasonably should have known of the unreasonably dangerous conditions.”

The law firm stated in a press release that an application for a temporary restraining order was filed so that the ethane cracker can be inspected and evidence can be preserved.

Joe Andrepont, Westlake Chemical spokesman, said it is the company’s practice not to comment on litigation.