(Houston, TX) Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner Partner Benny Agosto, Jr., associate attorney Lena Laurenzo, associate attorney Edward Festeryga, and associate attorney Ben Agosto III have filed a lawsuit in Harris County, Texas alleging negligence and gross negligence claims against LyondellBasell Acetyls, LLC, Lyondell Chemical Company and Equistar Chemicals, LP on behalf of Seth Wheeler who was injured in a chemical gas leak & the surviving family and Estate of Dustin Day who was killed in the same chemical gas leak while working at the LyondellBasell Complex in La Porte, Texas on July 27, 2021. 

On the date of the chemical gas leak, LyondellBasell became aware of a leak in the Acetyls Unit and called a company that specializes in sealing and repairing industrial leaks. After the company recommended that LyondellBasell have the leak repaired, Lyondell chose not to have the company repair the leak at that time and instead called other contractors. Later, that same evening, as Mr. Wheeler & Mr. Day were working in and near the Acetyls Unit for a company called Turn2. Suddenly and without warning, over 100,000 pounds of a mixture of various harmful chemicals including catalyst, acetic acid, methyl iodide, and hydrogen iodide was suddenly released into the LyondellBasell La Porte Complex.

As a result of the incident, Mr. Wheeler was exposed to harmful acid and sustained acid burns internally and externally. Mr. Wheeler believed he would burn to death at Defendants’ La Porte Complex due to the dangerous release and has been on a ventilator since. Mr. Wheeler has suffered permanent and devastating injuries to his face, body, and organs. Mr. Wheeler has had surgeries to his face and eyes, and he will require numerous surgeries in the future. Mr. Day was also exposed to the harmful acid so much that he was ultimately killed. Mr. Day died the LyondellBasell La Porte Complex as a result of the chemical release. In addition to this chemical leak, one other person died and over forty individuals required medical care or hospitalization. Abraham Watkins represents a number of other injured plaintiffs (See Cause No. 2021-46049: Hinojosa v. LyondellBasell Acetyls, LLC, et al; In the 281st District Court, Harris County, Texas).

In their Original Petition, Mr. Wheeler & the surviving family and Estate of Mr. Day are seeking aggregate monetary relief over $1,00,000.00 for negligence and gross negligence. “It shouldn’t have happened, it’s awful. Mr. Wheeler is still hospitalized and in intense pain. Mr. Day was a husband and veteran who should still be here if it wasn’t for this preventable chemical leak. We are going to go to work for our clients to make sure they get the full amount of damages allowed under the law,” said Benny Agosto, Jr, attorney for Mr. Wheeler & the surviving family and Estate of Mr. Day. Both Mr. Wheeler and the surviving family of Dustin Don Day have suffered permanent and lifelong injuries and damages.

As of Wednesday, August 3rd Mr. Wheeler is still hospitalized in critical condition. Mr. Wheeler’s injuries are considered incredibly serious, life threatening, and permanent. The surviving family of Dustin Day is morning the loss of Mr. Day. Mr. Day was laid to rest on August 1, 2021 in Oklahoma. LyondellBasell’s pattern of unsafe, hazardous practices once again results in numerous injuries to its workers which could have been avoided. “Once again we see how the lives of workers are put at risk by the management at our area’s chemical plants. The acid release was definitely preventable. Instead, we are filing suit because workers’ safety was ignored.” said attorney Benny Agosto Jr.

For questions regarding the lawsuit or interview requests, please contact Geoffrey Adkinson at [email protected] or 713-222-7211, or Benny Agosto, Jr. at [email protected]