June 14, 2013
CLASS ACTION FILED AGAINST EXXON FOR MULTIPLE CHEMICAL LEAKS IN BATON ROUGE AREA
Residents of Standard Heights invited to join lawsuit
Residents and property owners of East Baton Rouge filed a class action lawsuit today against Exxon Mobil refinery and it subsidiaries due multiple chemical leaks.
According to the suit filed on behalf of more than 10 residents who live in Standard Heights, a community within a two-mile radius of the Exxon plant, a bleeder plug at the Exxon Facility’s Aromatics Production Unit leaked benzene and other hazardous substances on June 14, 2012 but Exxon never notified the public of attendant health or other dangers. Exxon claimed the incident resulted in a leak greater than 10 pounds.
Exxon Mobil admitted on July 20, 2012 that in truth, 28,688 pounds of Benzene, 10,822 pounds of Toulene, 1100 pounds of Cyclobexane, 1564 pounds of Hexane and 12,605 pounds of Volatile Organic Compounds were released illegally. Exxon admitted a month later in 2012 the release amounts of these dangerous chemicals were much greater.
Exxon, the second largest refinery in the nation, subsequently documented that in 2012 alone, over 30 accidents occurred at the Baton Rouge refinery and chemical plants, releasing a combined total of pollutants reaching nearly 200,000 pounds.
Even low levels of exposure to benzene and related compounds released by oil refining can lead to convulsions, blood disorders, central nervous system dysfunction and cancer. EPA inspections, according to the suit, found the neighborhood was at risk due to sustained and continued exposure to the toxic releases. Plaintiffs are seeking property damages as well as medical and personal injury claims.
Attorney Mike Stag, SmithStag LLC of New Orleans, said insufficient facility maintenance caused illegal releases that exposed residents to dangerous levels of hazardous materials.
“We hope this sends a message to Exxon that it must fix its refinery to comply with the law. Exxon must spend whatever it takes to stop poisoning the air in Baton Rouge,” said Mr. Stag.
Other residents are invited to join the petitioners, who are suing for damages caused by the gross negligence and intentional failure of Exxon to conduct regular inspections and maintenance. Interested parties should call (504) 593-9600.
The suit was filed in the 19th Judicial District of East Baton Rouge. Download the suit at this link: http://www.kreweoftruth.com/web/data/documents/Class_Action_Petition_for_Damages.pdf