Jury Awards $100 M to Plaintiffs Exposed to BP Plant Emissions

Ten plaintiffs who alleged that they were exposed or injured in a series of toxic emissions in early 2007 at a BP plant in Texas City, Texas, won a judgment of more than $100 million, according to Buzbee Law Firm.

The jury in Galveston awarded $10 million in punitive damages to each of the plaintiffs after the company repeatedly denied that leaks had occurred on four separate dates in March and April 2007.

BP "suggested to the press that the entire incident may be a hoax by 'disgruntled workers,'" according to the workers' complaint.

According to trial evidence, 110 individuals, including the trial plaintiffs, were sent by BP to hospitals for medical treatment after the emissions. At the hospitals, men and women were collectively stripped of their clothes and hosed down for decontamination. Hospital records diagnosed "exposure to toxic chemical."

Tony Buzbee, Sean O'Rourke, Nicholas Simon, and Peter Taaffe of the Buzbee Law Firm's Houston office represent 7 of the 10 plaintiffs. Arnold & Itkin LLP of Houston represented three plaintiffs at trial.

Lead trial attorney Tony Buzbee stated, "This verdict adds to the dangerous and deadly legacy of BP's Texas City plant. The jury recognized the safety problems at the plant and BP's efforts to discredit the workers. BP can claim to be 'outraged' by this jury's unanimous verdict, but the company's safety record in Texas City is abysmal. Serious questions persist about BP's commitment to workplace safety. The fact is, far too many workers have been killed or injured at that plant."

The three-week trial included claims of the first 10 of 110 plaintiffs with pending negligence and damage claims against BP.

The case is "Garner, et al., v. BP Products North America, Inc.," Civil Action No. G-07-221, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division.

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