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Plant worker sues over alleged exposure to acetic acid

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Jan 3, 2014

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HOUSTON - Claiming he was exposed to glacial acetic acid while working at a chemical plant in La Porte two years ago, Harris County resident Jason Mitchell has filed a lawsuit.

Recent court papers filed Dec. 27, 2013, in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas blame Austin Industries Inc. for the alleged exposure.

At the time of the events in question, Mitchell was employed as a support operator by Baker Petrolite Corp.

The suit asserts the aforementioned exposure was caused by a leak from a tank containing the glacial acetic acid, insisting the defendant's employees "failed to make necessary repairs and maintenance."

It adds an ambulance brought the plaintiff to a nearby medical facility following the subject event, which supposedly caused him to vomit blood.

"He was diagnosed with bronchitis following the exposure, experienced respiratory problems as well as burning in his eyes and throat," the original petition says.

Mitchell blames the respondent for:


  • Exposing him to an unsafe work environment;

  • Failing to warn him;

  • Failing to take precautionary measures;

  • Failing to properly supervise its employees; and

  • Failing to institute proper safety rules and regulations.


A jury trial is requested.

Attorney L. Lee Thweatt of Terry & Thweatt PC in Houston is representing Mitchell.

Case No. 4:13-CV-3769

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