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City of West Files Suit Against Fertilizer Company, Ammonium Nitrate Supplier

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According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, the city of West, Texas filed suit against West Fertilizer Co. and CF Industries seeking unspecified damages a week after federal authorities rejected the city's request for funds to rebuild schools and infrastructure damaged in the April 17 explosion. The lawsuit alleges products liability and negligence against CF Industries and negligence against West Fertilizer Co. This is the 11th lawsuit filed in McLennan County associated with the explosion that killed 15, injured 200, and destroyed or damaged over 350 homes, but the first to name a defendant other than West Fertilizer Co.

The lawsuit claims that CF Industries, the supplier of the ammonium nitrate, was negligent because they were aware of the dangers of ammonium nitrate, but failed to inspect the facilities at West Fertilizer to determine if "hazard mitigation" was needed, did not make recommendations concerning the safe storage of their product, and failed to provide current material safety data sheets (MSDS) to West Fertilizer Co. on two 100-ton shipments of ammonium nitrate in March and April of this year. The suit alleges that the MSDS that were provided by CF Industries were outdated and contained references to regulations that were superseded in June of 2012. The lawsuit alleges negligence against West Fertilizer Co. for the manner in which the material was stored.

An attorney representing the city said, "The city of West has suffered a lot of damage to its infrastructure, and if those who are accountable for that damage are not held responsible, then there will be generations of taxpayers in West who are." Spokesmen for both Adair Grain, owner of West Fertilizer Co., and CF Industries declined to comment on the lawsuit.

If you or someone you know have property damage as result of the West Fertilizer explosion, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-396-3964 or 1-800-594-4884.

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