John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 18, 2013, 6:44am

GALVESTON - Two Houston attorneys filed a lawsuit against BP Products North America Inc. on behalf of 474 area residents who claim they were exposed to a leak at the petrochemical company's former Texas City facility more than a year ago, recent court documents say.

Anthony G. Buzbee of The Buzbee Law Firm and Chad Pinkerton of The Pinkerton Law Firm PLLC initiated the litigation in Galveston County District Court April 10, asserting the plaintiffs suffered "physical symptoms" as a result of the event in late 2011.

The original petition explains that BP "reportedly released sulfur dioxide, methyl carpaptan, dimenthyl disulfide and other toxic chemicals into the atmosphere from Nov. 10, 2011, through possibly early December 2011."

"It was reported that a tank on the western side of the facility had a pinhole leak which was the root of the toxic chemicals being released into the atmosphere," the suit says.

"The leak was substantial enough that it was purportedly detected at other facilities located as far as two miles away."

Meanwhile, according to the suit, the incident in question forced the nearby Dow Chemical facility to shut down most of its operations and send all non-essential employees home.

The 40 essential workers who remained were purported to have required medical attention.

"All of this occurred, despite BP reporting to its neighbors and the community that no dangerous chemicals were being released," the suit says.

BP recently sold the property to Marathon for $2.5 billion.

A jury trial is requested.

Galveston County 10th District Court Judge Kerry L. Neves is presiding over the case.

Case No. 13-CV-536

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