In 2010, BP negligently released airborne health-altering chemicals in the state of Texas. The chemical release was believed to be one of the worst releases in history. It resulted in nearly 50,000 people filing lawsuits for injuries they blame on the pollution.
In April 2010, a compressor broke at the BP refinery in Texas City. Management faced a decision: shut down operations during the repair or operate at a lower capacity level and vent gas to outside the refinery. They chose the latter, releasing gases through a flare vent. The chemicals continued to be released into the environment for at least 40 days. Documentation later produced suggests that BP may have been able to prevent the compressor from failing in the first place.
Residents say they never received a telephone call or any sort of warning of the release and its resulting dangers. This is simply one scenario of how a large multi-billion dollar corporation can abuse power and harm the residents leaving near refinery facilities.
The statute of limitations to file a claim against BP for ill effects from the release recently ran out, leaving those who hadn’t already filed out of luck. Unfortunately, this problem occurs more often than one may think. Many victims wait too long to seek relief, and, in cases similar to this, once long-term health effects are actually seen, the statute of limitations has already passed.
The negligence of large companies can play a major part in injuries, and an even larger part in wrongful death cases.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Emails: BP knew of flare issues,” 7/25/12.