Wave of lawsuits start after Texas plant explosion

Published On: Apr 23 2013 06:40:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 24 2013 08:37:31 AM CDT

April 23, 2013: By filing lawsuits regarding the plant explosion in West, Texas, lawyers say they will be able to see the company's insurance policy to see just how much money would be available to cover losses. Camille Williams reports.

WEST, Texas -

If there's not enough money to cover wrongful death claims, personal injury or property damage, victims who win a case might end up with nothing. "How much insurance did this guy who was running an extremely dangerous operation have a place to cover something like this, this tragic event, he should have a lot, a ton doing this kind of operation," Jason Gibson, with The Gibson Law Firm. Gibson is one of a few lawyers who are filling lawsuits for victims of Wednesday's fertilizer plant explosion..at least 15 are dead and another 2-hundred injured.

Gibson is filing the first serious personal injury lawsuit for the families of 3 of the dead. If the plant owner's insurance doesn't cover the expenses, families who win a case might be left with nothing. "Nine times out of ten they file for bankruptcy and everyone will be stuck with a claim at bankruptcy court and doubtful that they'd ever get paid," said Gibson.

Some west residents say if the insurance pay out isn't enough, they plan to step up and help their neighbors with support and a hand. After the lawsuits are filed it could take roughly a month to find out how much money is available to cover losses under the owner's insurance policy.

Daniel Keeney, spokesperson for West Fertilizer Co. today issued the following statement in response to questions related to lawsuits related to last week's tragic fire and explosion: "We decline to comment on any pending litigation. Our focus remains on the fact finding. We continue to do everything we can to understand what happened to ensure nothing like this ever happens again in any community. To that end, the owners and staff of West Fertilizer Co. are working closely with investigating agencies. We have encouraged all employees to assist in the fact finding to whatever degree possible."

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