Workers sue Marathon over gas release

By John Suayan | Sep 16, 2016

GALVESTON – Attorney Daniel P. Barton of the Barton Law Firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of workers who claim that they were recently exposed to a release of hydrofluoric acid gas at the Marathon plant in Texas City.

Court papers filed Sept. 14 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas show that the nine workers, who are employed by Total Safety, were assigned to work in the ALKY Unit located in the plant on Sept 7.

According to the suit, Marathon personnel dressed in complete hazmat gear opened a flange up-wind from the plaintiff’s location and caused a sudden and immediate release of HF gas. The complainants reportedly were not warned prior to the act.

“The release of HF gas was detected by the laser detection system, which signals Marathon employees in the control room,” the suit says.

“The release of HF gas was also visible on the video system in the plant.”

Per the original petition, no Marathon employee sounded any alarm for the release as the gas “enveloped” the plaintiffs.

“The release was so concentrated certain plaintiffs could not be visibly seen,” the suit says.

“Certain plaintiffs immediately lost consciousness, and all felt the immediate and harmful effects of the HF gas.”

The complainants assert that they still suffer from permanent severe physical and mental effects of the exposure to the HF gas.

Consequently, they seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 3:16-CV-0253

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