Worker Injured in Louisiana Oil Refinery Explosion Sues Shell Oil, Others

Photo of Muhammad Aziz

A Pearland man is suing Shell Oil Co. over injuries he suffered in an explosion at a Louisiana refinery, according to a lawsuit filed in the Harris County 215th District Court on December 10, 2018.

The complaint alleges that Plaintiff Edward Branch was working as a foreman for the company JV Industrial ("JVIC") at a Convent, Louisiana refinery owned by Defendant Equilon Enterprises, LLC at the time of the explosion on July 4, 2018. JVIC was contracted to complete a work package that included the removal of grating that would allow Defendant Republic Valve Services, Inc. to access and repair a valve leaking hydrogen. Branch claims that although Defendants Shell and Equilon instructed JVIC to proceed with the work package-representing to JVIC that the pipeline downstream of the leaking valve was fully cleared, deactivated, and safe to work on, per a work permit issued by a Shell operator-the valve had not yet been repaired as represented. The complaint states that when the JVIC crew opened the pipeline, it exploded, and Branch had to leap out of the way of the fire, resulting in serious injuries to his knee.

The lawsuit alleges that Defendants Shell Oil Co., Equilon Enterprises, LLC, and Republic Valve Services, Inc. are responsible for Branch's injuries because they negligently failed to institute and enforce appropriate workplace safety measures, properly ensure equipment was safe to repair, follow industry standard process safety measures, and properly train and/or supervise individuals on site, among other acts and omissions. Branch requests a trial by jury and seeks monetary relief between $100,000 and $200,000.

In 2017, Shell cancelled plans to permanently shut down the gasoline unit of the Convent, Louisiana refinery, instead announcing that the facility would be overhauled and refurbished, extending its production for an estimated four to five years. The explosion occurred in the sulfur-producing unit of the refinery, which was shut down the month before the explosion in conjunction with the gasoline unit overhaul. Two other contract workers were injured in the incident as well.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a chemical plant refinery accident, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz. Our attorneys can assist you with your claim. Call us today at 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584 for your free consultation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories