OSHA Compliance

BP To Appeal Against Damages Order After Texas Refinery Incident

BP, which has been ordered by a court in Texas to pay $100 million damages to ten workers after refinery incident in the state, it said that it would appeal against the ruling.

BP insisted that it did not believe that anyone had been harmed when the chemicals were released during the incident in the year 2007 and had offered only $500 in compensation to each worker who claimed to have been affected.

However, a federal jury in Texas ruled on Friday that all the ten workers should receive $100 million. A further 133 workers are also seeking damages.

A spokesman for BP, Ronnie Chappell, said the company was “shocked and outraged” by the verdict made and would further appeal. “We believe the evidence showed that BP did not cause harm to anyone on April 19, 2007,” said Mr. Chappell. “The verdict and the punitive damages award in particular, are utterly unjustified, improper and unsupportable.”

According to the workers they were exposed to the chemicals while repairing the units damaged in 2005 in a plant-wide shutdown before Hurricane Rita hit the coast of Texas. They also said BP had poorly maintained workplace and lacked in sufficient monitoring to detect toxic chemicals or warn workers of release.

On the other side BP countered that plant did not release a toxic substance, and the company had no control over an “odor event” that stemmed from the negligence of another unidentified party.

BP paid more than $2 billion for the settlement of hundreds of blast-related lawsuits and a $50 million of fine to resolve the resolve the criminal case. In addition OSHA had imposed record fines for the safety violations at the plant.

This year, the company was fined another $87.4 million by the agency for failing to agreement to make good safety violations at the refinery. BP is contesting the latest fine.

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