Refinery workers claim termination part of cover up

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 25, 2010, 4:30am

GALVESTON - Workers at a Texas City refinery are suing Mobley Industrial Services Inc. and BP, claiming they were terminated for refusing to cover up a hazardous chemical leak.

Miguel Castillo, David Shivram, Daniel Sotelo and William Clayton Jr. were employed by Mobley when they were working at the BP Texas City refinery on March 31.

Their suit, which was filed May 17 in Galveston County District Court, says they were trying to blast a pipe when it let out hazardous materials in their vicinity.

The plaintiffs argue the defendants told them the area was safe and instructed them to continue working for another week.

The defendants, however, knew the area was unsafe all along, the plaintiffs claim.

Two weeks after the incident, the workers sought legal assistance after Mobley officials allegedly ordered them to participate in a cover-up to save the company's contract with BP.

"Mobley began undertaking intimidation tactics once it discovered the plaintiffs would not hide the incident from authorities and/or written statements," the original petition says.

The retaliatory methods continued and were eventually fired, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim they suffered financial hardship and are seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Ireson & Weizel PC is representing the complainants, and Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the case.

Case No. 10-cv-1325

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