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One of Five Explosion Cases Reaches Settlement with BP


Europe’s second-largest oil company, BP Plc., settled one of the five cases set to go to trial last September on the day the trial was to start. The case concerns an explosion that occurred at its Texas Refinery in 2005.

The two sons of a 26-year-old man who killed himself about six weeks after the explosion, settled with the corporation the night before trial was to start. The settlement was for an undisclosed amount, both sides said. That leaves four claims for the first trial.

The March 2005 blast killed 15 and injured hundreds with spinal injury.

Based in London, BP had managed to avoid earlier trials by settling about 1,350 of the more than 3,000 claims from a $1.6 billion fund that was created just for that purpose. The company admits the explosion was its fault and yet at the same time denied responsibility for all the spinal injuries.

Apparently, a doctor said BP raised its settlement offer the night before trial, and the family wanted to agree to those increased terms. “We would have liked to have taken it to verdict, but we chose security for the boys,” the family’s attorney said in an interview. “The amount will secure them financially for their future, although it will not replace their father.”

A spokesman for BP confirmed that the company settled with the family. “That’s what we have been working towards since the event,” he said in another interview. “We hope to take care of all the people affected by this tragic event.”

The boys’ father, who worked for a contractor, lost his job when the refinery shut down after the explosion. Depression caused the man to shoot himself in the head six weeks later. The explosion, and subsequent layoff, is said to have caused the depression. His two sons are 11-years-old and 6-years-old.

The company settled many of the claims brought by the families of all those who were killed in the explosion as well as the most grievously injured workers. Companies in Nassau and Suffolk try to handle situations like this one in a class manner. Construction sites are often the places in which accidents like this happen.

Work injuries happen frequently. If unfit or unsafe conditions lead to a severe spinal injury, contact a NY Spinal Injury Attorney to see if the details of your case will support a law suit.

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