Port Arthur resident sues over chemical release from ship collision

By Kelly Holleran | Mar 23, 2010

A Port Arthur woman has filed suit against four Texas corporations, alleging she experienced physical pain and suffering after two vessels collided and released chemicals into the air.

Emma White claims she lived near the Sabine-Neches Waterway on Jan. 23 when two vessels -- owned by defendants American Eagle Tankers, Exxon Mobil Corp, Sabine Pilot Service and Dixie Carriers -- collided and released chemicals and petrochemicals into the air.

"On or about Jan. 23, 2010, a towing vessel, the Dixie Vengeance, owned and operated by Dixie Carriers collided with an 807-foot tank ship, Eagle Otome, owned by American Eagle Tankers, chartered by Exxon Mobil Corp. and operated by Sabine Pilot Service," the suit filed March 10 in Jefferson County District Court states. "As a result of the collision, large volumes of hydrogen sulfate and other hazardous chemicals were released into the environment."

Because of the incident, White experienced mental anguish, physical impairment and personal discomfort and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

White alleges negligence, gross negligence and private nuisance against the defendants.

She is seeking an unspecified judgment, plus costs, interest and other relief to which she may be entitled.

James Payne and Kendall S. Cockrell of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A186-226.

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