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Oil and Gas Accidents Archives

Oil Rig Explosion on Lake Pontchartrain

At least seven people were injured when a large explosion on an oil rig operating on Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain ignited a fire Sunday evening, authorities said. Smoke and fire were visible from the shore. According to The (New Orleans) Advocate, citing Jefferson Parish officials, there were seven people aboard the platform. The injured were taken to New Orleans, with five people taken to the University Medical Center and two others taken to East Jefferson General Hospital. EMS officials said the five taken to the University Medical Center were being treated for blast-type injuries and burns and were in critical condition. The U.S. Coast Guard told the Advocate one man on the rig was not able to make it to shore after the explosion, and rescuers were searching for him. The worker has not been found. Kenner Police Department spokesman Sgt. Brian McGregor said Sunday. There were "a lot of injuries," many of them serious, with at least seven confirmed and more expected, McGregor said. Authorities on the scene reported that cleaning chemicals ignited on the surface of the oil rig platform.

Fire Along Houston Ship Channel Demonstrates Dangers to Person and Property

A fire erupted at an oil storage facility mere yards away from an outlet to the Houston Ship Channel overnight last week. While details have yet to be released regarding any injuries, this incident highlights the additional dangers faced by both refinery workers and sea merchants in an oil-driven port such as the Houston Ship Channel. Due to the heavy presence of oil and gas companies in Houston, this incident is unlikely to be the last fire or other dangerous event along the channel.

Yet Another Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Last week, a Shell oil facility leaked nearly 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, according to federal authorities. The spill has left a two-mile by thirteen-mile sheen in the Gulf, approximately 165 miles southwest of New Orleans. The spill was first noticed near Shell's Brutus platform on Thursday morning.

One Dead, Eleven Injured After Apparent Chemical Suicide in Austin

Last week, the Austin Fire Department responded to a reported gas leak in an Austin apartment building linked to the University of Texas. Instead, they found an apartment door with a sign reading "Danger: Watch out, hydrogen sulfide," behind which they found the body of a young man who had apparently died of exposure to the poisonous gas. Six others were taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and five others were injured but refused treatment. AFD's initial investigation determined that the deceased individual had released the gas in order to commit suicide.

Slick Moves: BP Personnel Most Likely to Completely Avoid Any Jail Time for 2010 Spill

In April 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded leading to the deaths of 11 workers, and spewed an estimated 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Federal prosecutors were able to secure an enormous settlement for the criminal and civil charges placed on BP, as a corporation, after this blowout. Despite the punishment against the corporation, 5 years have passed, and it is increasingly possible that not one person from BP will serve prison time.

Rail Worker Safety Affected by Falling Oil Prices

train oil and gas tankers.jpgRailroad workers in Texas and throughout the United States have a right to be concerned about their safety. Last week, a website devoted to news about the Eagle Ford shale oil field in Texas posted a story about BNSF railroad workers' concerns for their safety. They say that their long shifts create unsafe working conditions.

Pipeline Explosion Reported Near Encinal

It has been reported that a large pipeline explosion occurred at an oil and gas facility near Encinal, Texas at approximately 4:15 this morning. The facility's operator, Lewis Energy Group, has issued a statement that no injuries were reported. Photos taken show an orange glow from several miles away, and nearby residents were evacuated to a truck stop further away from the explosion site. The cause of the blast is under investigation.

Oil Train Disaster Preparedness

train oil and gas tankers.jpgIn recent years, the amount of crude oil shipped by rail in the United States has grown by a factor of 50. Oil trains carried around 500,000 cars of crude in 2014 compared with 9,500 in 2008. Traveling to refineries and ports on the nation's coasts, oil trains carrying 100 or more cars pass through some of the country's largest urban areas. The result is that cities are rushing to develop emergency preparedness plans to deal with the disasters that could occur if a train derailed, caught fire or crashed.

DuPont's Chemical Leak and Its Failure to Follow Safety Protocols

On June 29, John O'Conner took over the DuPont Chemical Plant in La Porte, Texas. He is the 5th to take over in the past 6 years, following a string of DuPont accidents. The most recent accident was the December tank spill, and the most notable accident was the gas release that killed four last November at its Lannete Unit in La Porte.

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.

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    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.

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