Seven workers injured in a 2016 explosion at the Sunoco Logistics terminal in Nederland, Texas, reached a confidential financial settlement with two Sunoco contractors during jury selection for the trial last week.
Luis Valencia, Jorge Castro, Jose Estrada, Darwin Lopez, Jose Ramos, Miguel Reynaga, and Jose Torres Vera filed in civil court against defendants Cleveland Integrity Services and Carber Holdings, Inc.
On Aug. 12, 2016, the seven workers were injured – three critically – when a flash fire occurred during welding activities at the terminal. Sunoco Logistics hired Cleveland Integrity Services and Carber as contractors to oversee and install new pipelines for the Nederland terminal.
“Cleveland directed the employees of Lexicon, another contractor, to perform welding work on a closed pipeline of the Sunoco Logistics central manifold,” a press release issued by the plantiffs’ lawyer states.
“Carber, an industry leader in vapor control management, improperly installed its isolation tool to close the pipeline and protect the workers from the highly volatile vapors of the pipeline.”
The lawsuit also alleged that Carber failed to monitor the tool’s gauges during the welding or “hot work” procedure.
“Plaintiffs allege that the Carber isolation tool failed, allowing the pipeline's volatile vapors to come into contact with the welding work, resulting in an explosion that caused serious injuries, including burns and numerous orthopedic injuries,” the press release states.
Valencia, an employee of Lexicon, was welding inside a 30-inch pipeline when the blast happened. He was struck by the Carber isolation tool, when it was ejected from the pipeline during the explosion.
The remaining plaintiffs were injured trying to escape the explosion and fire.
A report is still pending from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which investigated the blast.