KMTX sued for wrongful death day after Port Arthur plant explosion

David Yates Apr. 7, 2011, 7:28am


The son of the late Johnny Williams, who died in a flash fire at a Port Arthur chemical plant on March 31, has filed a lawsuit against KMTEX Properties, alleging the company's negligence caused his father's death.

Aaron Williams filed the suit April 1 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the Beaumont Enterprise, Williams, a 58-year-old Groves resident, was a DME Enterprises employee working as a welder at the KMTEX Chemical Plant on Gulfway Drive on the Intercoastal Waterway. Williams and others were attaching a 2-inch fill line to a tank when the tank exploded.

Three others were injured.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and local authorities are still investigating how highly flammable solvent remained in a pipeline workers were welding, the article states. The pipeline may have contained coal tar naptha solvent, a highly flammable byproduct of refined crude oil.

The wrongful death suit faults KMTEX for negligently creating the condition, failing to properly train and supervise employees and failing to warn workers of the dangers.

The suit also alleges KMTEX negligently failed to safely depressurize the line and monitor combustible gases.

The Williams family seeks to recover all wrongful death damages allowable under law, including lost wages, funeral expenses and exemplary damages.

The Law Offices of Gilbert T. Adams in Beaumont represent the plaintiffs.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D189-706

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