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Expert Houston Refinery & Plant Explosion Lawyers

Rebuilding Your Life After an Industrial Accident in Houston

Industrial accidents, particularly in large-scale settings like refineries and chemical plants, can lead to devastating injuries and even fatalities.

For over five decades, Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers has been at the forefront of managing injury and death claims resulting from industrial incidents in Texas, including the Houston area. Our deep involvement in these cases dates back to 1970, covering significant incidents across the Texas Gulf Coast region.

Our team, working closely with the USW 13-1 and its predecessors, has gained invaluable on-site experience in major refineries and plants in this region. This direct exposure has equipped us with a thorough understanding of operational dynamics and the roles of operators and trade crafts within these facilities.

Our expertise extends to analyzing root causes and conducting comprehensive investigations to pinpoint operational errors leading to severe injuries or deaths in industrial accidents and explosions. We have represented clients in injury and death claims against all the major refineries and chemical plants in Texas, including Houston, Texas City, Pasadena, Baytown, and Beaumont.

At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we are dedicated to providing robust legal representation to victims of industrial explosions and petrochemical accidents throughout Texas. Our Houston plant explosion lawyers are committed to helping you navigate the aftermath of such devastating events, ensuring you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

The Houston Area’s Refinery & Chemical Plant Industry

Houston and the Gulf Coast region are pivotal in the U.S. oil production and chemical manufacturing sectors. In fact, Texas alone contributes to 43 percent of the nation’s crude oil production, with Houston-area refineries producing half of this output.

Refinery & Chemical Plant Explosions in Houston

Despite their economic contribution, chemical plants and refineries in Houston pose significant risks of catastrophic accidents and explosions. The use of volatile chemicals and complex processes, often compounded by human error, can lead to dire outcomes.

Many severe accidents at these facilities stem from preventable mistakes or oversights. Safety regulations by government agencies are sometimes neglected, with routine maintenance overlooked or safety protocols ignored to cut costs. Inadequate employee training on safety and emergency procedures further exacerbates the risks. When companies disregard safety standards and accidents occur, they may be held liable. Consulting with a Houston plant explosion attorney can clarify your rights and assist in pursuing claims.

Houston Plant Explosion Cases

Employers in this sector are mandated by OSHA to maintain safe work environments. Non-compliance can lead to worker injuries or fatalities.

Below are some significant plant and refinery accidents in the Houston area, highlighting instances of negligence and successful compensation recovery:

BP Refinery Explosion—Texas City, March 23, 2005

An explosion caused by a hydrocarbon vapor cloud killed 15 and injured 180. Failures in BP’s technical, human factors and organizational aspects were identified. Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers played a central role in this litigation as liaison counsel.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig – April 20, 2010:

This catastrophic event led to 11 deaths and the world’s largest environmental accident. BP acknowledged faults in its operations that contributed to the disaster. Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers represented over 2,000 affected individuals and businesses and were instrumental in establishing the claims program.

Invista Chemical Plant – 2013:

An explosion in Victoria, Texas, at Invista’s facility injured 5 contractors due to the company’s acknowledged policy and procedural failures. Despite legal challenges, our attorneys secured a significant settlement.

Valero Refinery Explosion – April 2018:

An explosion caused by deficient piping in an HF Alkylation unit resulted in severe injuries to a contractor on site. Our legal team successfully pursued claims against the company for its operational failures.

Houston Area Refinery & Chemical Plant Industry: Understanding the Risks

The refineries and chemical plants in the Houston area, a key player in the Gulf Coast region, are crucial to the U.S. oil production and chemical manufacturing industries. In fact, Texas contributes a staggering 43 percent to U.S. crude oil production, with Houston-area refineries accounting for a significant portion of this production.

The Dangers of Refinery & Chemical Plant Operations in Houston

While these industries provide numerous jobs and bolster the economy, they also come with high risks of catastrophic accidents and explosions. The combination of volatile chemicals, complex processes, and potential human error can lead to grave consequences.

Many accidents in these Houston-area facilities are preventable and often stem from human error. Despite regulatory oversight by agencies like OSHA, safety protocols and maintenance routines are sometimes disregarded in favor of cost-cutting, leading to dangerous conditions. When accidents occur due to such negligence, the responsible parties may be held liable. Consulting with a Houston plant explosion attorney is crucial to understanding your rights and pursuing claims.

Common Causes of Houston Industrial Accidents

Typical reasons for accidents in Houston’s industrial sector include:

Improper Training:

Inadequate training on equipment operation, safety protocols, and emergency procedures can lead to accidents.

Equipment Failure:

Lack of maintenance can cause critical machinery failures, often undetectable like corrosion.

Human Error:

Mistakes in adhering to safety guidelines, maintenance protocols, or correct machinery operation contribute significantly to accidents.

Injuries and Legal Recourse Following Houston Plant & Refinery Explosions

Victims of plant and refinery explosions may suffer from a range of injuries, including burns, chemical exposure, brain injuries, and more. It’s essential to seek immediate medical attention and legal advice if you’ve been involved in or near such an incident.

Notably, you don’t need to be an employee at the site to seek damages. Our Houston plant and refinery explosion lawyers can help you navigate the legal process to claim compensation for various injuries and repercussions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes plant or refinery explosions?

Human error, including improper training and equipment maintenance failures, is a common cause.

Can I sue after a workplace explosion?

Yes, especially if negligence is involved. Worker’s compensation may limit some claims, but other parties could still be liable.

Do I need a lawyer?

Absolutely. An experienced attorney can help pursue compensation beyond worker’s compensation, including for pain and suffering.

Can I file a claim for a loved one’s death in an explosion?

Yes, our wrongful death attorneys can help families recover damages following a tragic loss.

Houston Plant Explosion Attorneys: On Your Side

At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping victims and families of industrial explosions and accidents in the Houston area. Our experienced legal team will develop effective strategies to hold negligent parties accountable and pursue maximum compensation for your case.

For personalized legal support and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Houston plant explosion lawyers, contact us at (281) 645-5000. We are committed to helping you rebuild your life after a devastating industrial accident.

Practice Areas

Client Reviews


“I am a survivor of the March 23, 2005, BP explosion. Knowing my life had just been changed in an instant and not knowing what was to come was extremely unsettling. So when the time came to find legal representation, I chose Burwell Nebout personal injury attorneys from League City, Texas. Knowing they are from the Galveston County area made this an easy choice. Russ and Jimmy assured me they would do all things possible to help me and my family get through this most difficult time. Once again, I’d like to thank these men and their staff for their professional knowledge and guidance throughout those tough times. I know without a doubt I made the right choice.”

David Laymance
Santa Fe, Texas


“My company has faced disputes that require the litigation process to achieve resolution. I chose Russ and Jimmy to represent me not only for their ability to guide us through the process in a cost-efficient manner with the goal of resolution, but also with the comfort of knowing they have the skills and expertise to try the case.”

Will Watt
Friendswood, Texas


“Thank you for the excellent work performed by you and your staff in helping our company each step of the way in our pursuit of seeking reimbursement from BP due to our losses from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The presentation of the facts as well as the unknowns with each turn of the roller coaster has been greatly appreciated. I cannot thank you enough for the work you put into this nor credit you enough for the polish and professionalism in the way you did it.”

Doug Vingoe
Houston, Texas

Case Results

Automobile Accident

$19.2 million

Two clients killed as a result of a special defect in the shoulder of the roadway. A state court jury trial resulted in a $19.2 million verdict.

Premises Liability

$10 million

Children that attended school on a former toxic dump site made claims for exposure injuries. $10 million settlement.

Liberty County Record Verdict

Record-setting verdict

Two high school seniors were on their way home on a stretch of road that had been the subject of repeated complaints to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) about the poor condition of the shoulder. When the students entered a curve, the poor condition of the shoulder resulted in a crash that killed one and severely brain-damaged the other. A trial against the Texas Attorney General’s office resulted in the discovery of altered records, a spoliation instruction, and a record-setting jury verdict for Liberty County.

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