Only days after a deadly gas leak took the lives of four workers at the DuPont facility in LaPorte, several Beaumont attorneys have filed lawsuits against the company on behalf of victims’ families.
In the early morning hours of Nov. 15, a chemical spill in the Crop Protection Unit released lethal methyl mercaptan. The unit stores methyl mercaptan in liquid form, which is used as a fungicide.
Four people working in the area died after exposure to the toxic chemical, among them a woman from Southeast Texas and two brothers.
Those killed were Crystle Rae Wise, 53, of Groves; Wade Baker, 60, a crew supervisor who had been at DuPont for 40 years and brothers Bobby Tisnado, 36, and Gilbert "Gibby" Tisnado, 49.
"There are no words to fully express the loss we feel or the concern and sympathy we extend to the families of the employees and their co-workers," Plant Manager Randall Clements said in a statement. "We are in close touch with them and providing them every measure of support and assistance at this time."
On Monday, Nov. 17, Beaumont attorneys Clay Dugas and Cody Rees filed a wrongful death suit against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. and Clements in Harris County 270th State District Court on behalf of Michelle Tisnado, the widow of Gibby Tisnado.
She is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
The same day, Beaumont attorney Brent Coon filed suit on behalf of Jasmine Rae Wise, the daughter of Crystle Wise.
Coon also filed a temporary restraining order to preserve evidence related to the event while the accident is being investigated.
“Our first goal is to preserve evidence and initiate our own independent investigation of what transpired,” Coon said in a prepared statement. “Internal company investigations are usually self-serving and protecting in nature and unreliable, typically pointing the finger at low level employees when the incidents are most often caused by management driven shortcuts.”