GALVESTON - An alleged emission event at Marathon Petroleum Co. LP's Texas City refinery over the summer has triggered another lawsuit, recent court papers say.
Nemesis Bluewater Inc. and local residents Joe Pawlikowski and Thomas Patillo are suing Marathon over the June 7 event, which was reported to have lasted 11 hours.
Their lawsuit, filed Oct. 11 in Galveston County District Court, echoes the claims filed by attorney Tony Buzbee of The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston a week after the incident.
Like the previous plaintiffs, Patillo, Pawlikowski and Nemesis explain that the refinery, which Marathon purchased from BP for $2.4 billion earlier this year, released various toxic chemicals into the air and caused its operations to shut down in the early morning hours of June 7.
The refinery was also the site of an emissions event in 2010 that lasted 40 days. Thousands of residents who lived and worked near the Texas City refinery when it was owned by BP sued the company. In a recent "test" trial involving four plaintiffs represented by Buzbee, a Galveston jury found that BP did not harm the local residents.
In the suit against Marathon, 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.
Patillo, Pawlikowski and Nemesis assert their property in Tiki Island "was covered in a tarry brown substance, which in many instances ate into and pitted the paint, varnish, metal, plastic and vinyl surfaces of their boats, homes, vehicles and other property."
"The defendant failed to warn the plaintiffs or the public about the release," the original petition says.
"As a result, the plaintiffs and their property were and remained exposed to these hazardous materials."
Marathon supposedly promised to "evaluate the damage and after inspection agreed to repair the damages, but has failed to honor and repudiated its agreement."
Consequently, the claimants seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
They are represented by attorney C.B. Ramey of The Kilburn Law Firm PLLC in Houston.
The litigation has been assigned to Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss.
Case No. 13-CV-1306