Four workers at a chemical plant in suburban Houston, Texas died recently after a hazardous chemical leaked in the industrial plant where they worked.
The chemical, methyl mercaptan, is used as an ingredient in insecticides, fungicides, and other products intended to protect agricultural crops. The gas gives off a smell similar to rotten eggs and is usually added to natural gas to add odor for safety purposes.
Residents living outside the chemical plant noticed the smell of the gas shortly after it leaked from a valve. A team of government investigators was sent to the accident site, and has yet to determine the actual cause of the leak. The chemical plant company has expressed remorse and sympathy to the relatives of the deceased workers and are said to be cooperating with authorities in the ongoing investigation.
Wrongful Death Case
The widow of one of the workers filed a claim for damages amounting to more than $1 million after her husband died of accidental asphyxiation arising from the inhalation of the hazardous chemical at the La Porte plant. The chemical plant had 320 employees.
Named as defendants in the case were the chemical company E.I. du Pont and its La Porte plant manager.
Texas Wrongful Death Law
Under Texas statutes, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of a deceased person may file a claim for damages against the person whose negligence caused the death of the deceased person. Damages that may be awarded are used to compensate for losses such as:
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost love, companionship, and comfort
- Lost inheritance and what the deceased may have been able to save and leave to surviving heirs had he/she lived a normal expected lifetime
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the surviving family members may also recover exemplary damages, particularly when there is gross negligence or when the death of the decedent was caused by the willful act or omission of the defendants.
If you lost a loved one in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss through a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Houston, Texas, the Law Firm of Charles J. Argento has almost 3 decades of personal injury experience, helping grieving families recover compensation for the wrongful death of their loved ones.
We are an AV-rated firm in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards and can handle a wide range of personal injury cases such as auto accidents, defective products, construction and explosion accidents, and refinery and oilfield accidents.
We offer prospective clients a free consultation to help assess your personal injury case, and invite you to call us today at (713) 225-5050.
Overview of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
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What Damages are Available in Wrongful Death Claims?