|By PR Newswire||
|November 27, 2012 12:52 PM EST||
HOUSTON, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 4,800 more residents, workers, and visitors have joined the state court litigation evolving from the August 6, 2012 explosion and fire at Chevron's Richmond, Calif. refinery, The Buzbee Law Firm and co-counsel John L. Burris announced today.
This new complaint coincides with the filing of the amended complaint made by the original six plaintiffs represented by the Buzbee and Burris firms.
The lawsuits allege the refinery – with a history of at least 19 fires, spills and explosions since 1989 – forced thousands of people to seek hospital treatment for respiratory problems after a toxic plume from the refinery endangered public health. Chevron also is accused of delaying public health warnings around the refinery after the explosion.
The plaintiffs, who range from infants to the elderly, report a wide range of health symptoms, including serious respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms since the explosion and fire, according to the lawsuit. To date, a total of 4,872 area residents are suing Chevron.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Tony Buzbee and Kyle Beckley of The Buzbee Law Firm, of Houston, and John L. Burris and Adante Pointer, of the Law Offices of John L. Burris, of Oakland, Calif.
The amended lawsuit alleges, "On August 6, 2012, a hydrocarbon leak was found on a Crude Unit pipe. Chevron continued operating the Crude Unit despite the obvious dangers involved. Within three hours of the leak's discovery, a fire broke out. The blaze lasted several hours and sent a billowing cloud of toxic smoke into the surrounding community."
John L. Burris, of the Law Offices of John L. Burris, said, "Chevron compounded this public health threat by delaying the issuance of a county-wide warning until hours after discovering the leak. This warning came too late for the many in the public to avoid the toxic cloud. For others, the warning did not reach them at all. As a result, thousands of area residents, workers, and visitors were exposed to the toxic plume emanating from the refinery."
Tony Buzbee, of The Buzbee Law Firm, said, "This unit has a documented history of leaks, improper maintenance practices, and troublesome safety practices. Simply put, Chevron knew that there was a problem with their unit and failed to take timely action, jeopardizing the health and safety of the entire Bay Area."
The original case is "Charles Simmons, et al., v. Chevron USA Inc., et al," Case No. MSC12-01841 in the Superior Court of California, Contra Costa County. The new filing is "Rebecca A.J. Adams, et al., v. Chevron USA, Inc., et al," Case. No. MSC 12-02777 in the Superior Court of California, Contra Costa County. The lawsuits seek damages, injunctive relief, attorneys' fees, and court costs.
SOURCE The Buzbee Law Firm