Two more defendants in West explosion lawsuits

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A more complete update explaining the lawsuits related to the West Fertilizer explosion was provided last weekend by the nearest city’s daily newspaper, the Waco Tribune, and posted on wacotrib.com.

The latest news is that plaintiffs seeking damages from the April 17 explosion at West Fertilizer Co., which includes about 200 individuals and the City of West, Texas, amended their petition of defendants by adding International Chemical Co., of Tulsa, Okla., and CF Industries Nitrogen, another subsidiary of CF Industries.

As reported on AgProfessional.com last week, a group of attorneys for defendants and plaintiffs met with the state district judge in charge to discuss various discovery issues in preparation for a trial, or the first trial, beginning a year from now at the earliest.

The judge is presiding over all pretrial matters in the 14 lawsuits that have been filed so far in three of the county’s state district courts.

According to the Waco Tribune writer, Tommy Witherspoon, the new petition alleges International Chemical Co. bought two separate 100-ton shipments of ammonium nitrate manufactured by CF Industries in March and April 2013 and shipped it to West Fertilizer Co.

The first suits named Adair Grain, doing business as West Fertilizer Co., as the sole defendant. But in a suit filed June 21, the city of West became the first to also name Deerfield, Ill.-based CF Industries as a defendant, and other plaintiffs amended their lawsuits to include CFI and subsidiaries as defendants. CF Industries manufactures agricultural ammonium nitrate at a plant in Yazoo City, Miss., which ended up at West Fertilizer, the suits contend.

As noted in our earlier report, plaintiffs are divided into three groups—relatives of those killed, those injured in the blast and those with property damage.

To read the whole Waco Tribune article, click here.


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