Fertilizer companies blame West, Texas, for explosion

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El Dorado Chemical Co. and CF Industries claim West, Texas, is to blame for improperly training its volunteer firefighters and first responders who responded to the fertilizer explosion that occurred at West Fertilizer Co., in April 2013.

The two companies are being sued in a lawsuit by family members of those killed during the blast. But the companies recently argued in a state district court in Waco that the city of West didn’t have the proper protocols established to handle the fire that led to the explosion at the fertilizer facility. As a result, the companies seek to have the city of West declared a “responsible third party” in the lawsuits filed against the companies, reported the Insurance Journal.

In May, the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office published a report that concluded that the volunteer firefighters were not prepared for the dangers they faced at the fertilizer facility.

Approximately 200 plaintiffs are suing the fertilizer companies. State District Judge Jim Meyer has divided the lawsuits into three trials, which will begin in July 2015.

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Jim Ruen    
Minnesota  |  August, 07, 2014 at 08:41 AM

What a great idea! Those company lawyers are working over time. Too bad management didn't consider the fact that any town with facilities from those companies now inside city limits will be advised by their lawyers to send them packing. If this is going to be legal defense, municipalities may begin requiring companies to (a) fund special training needed for local industries, (b) require companies with special hazard needs provide their own fire and other emergency services or (c) de-zone them due to financial risk.

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