John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jun. 17, 2013, 12:05pm

GALVESTON - Tiki Island locals Russell Craig Hudeck and Renea Diamond are pursuing legal action against Marathon Petroleum Co. LP over "an eleven-hour long" emission event earlier this month.

According to a lawsuit filed June 14 in Galveston County District Court, the event in question damaged the plaintiffs' property as well as "unwittingly exposed them to these chemicals as they went about their daily business."

The suit asserts that at around 2 a.m. the morning of June 7, the defendant's Texas City refinery released various toxic chemicals into the air and caused its operations to shut down.

It is believed that a pipe sheared apart at the refinery's fluid catalytic cracking unit, prompting the "uncontrollable" release of slurry, gasoline and other petrochemical products.

Marathon did not contain the aforementioned release until some 11 hours after it began, the original petition says.

Hudeck and Diamond claim that release materials covered their vehicles, house and other property.

They show the stains are "difficult or impossible to remove despite scrubbing and the use of professional cleaning products."

Court papers say the plaintiffs were exposed to the emission as it was taking place.

Marathon failed to warn the complainants or the Tiki Island community that there was an ongoing emission event, they argue.

Consequently, the plaintiffs seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

They are represented by attorney Anthony G. Buzbee of The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 10th District Court Judge Kerry L. Neves.

Case No. 13-CV-788

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