Plant and Refinery Explosions

Call 713-496-1100 For a Free Consultation​

Chemical and oil plants and refineries are dangerous for not only those who work at those locations, but also for the people in the communities surrounding those plants and refineries. On a daily basis, plant and refinery workers are handling equipment and products that can cause catastrophic damage within seconds, giving those who work in the vicinity and people in the surrounding neighborhoods and communities very little time to seek refuge or safety. There are also times each year when a plant shuts down for maintenance and turnaround work. Workers attempt to diligently do this regular maintenance, but that work is at times compromised by rushed schedules or machinery and equipment that has become old or defective. When the plants start up again, mishaps can and do happen. Accidents also occur when plants and refineries fail to have in place adequate safety measures or follow safety protocols. Many times, these accidents lead to explosions and dangerous toxic emissions that cause serious illness, severe burns and injuries, and even death.

Sorrels Law – Leader In Plant and Refinery Explosion Cases

Unfortunately, these mishaps have become almost commonplace in Texas, such as in Houston and its surrounding areas. Firm Partner Randy Sorrels knows this well. He has been a leader in plant and refinery explosion litigation since the late-1980s, and the Sorrels Law team is ready and equipped to handle these cases. Randy represented 260 injured plaintiffs and plant workers who were present during the deadly October 23, 1989, Phillips Petroleum Company explosion at Phillips’ chemical complex facility near the Houston Ship Channel in Pasadena, Texas. The plaintiffs’ injuries included severe burns and physical impairments. That explosion was triggered by inadequate safety procedures that caused a failure in a valve that carried ethylene. Twenty-three people died as a consequence of that explosion.

In 1996, Sorrels represented three injured plant workers who were performing maintenance work at the MEMC plant in Pasadena when the reactor they were working on exploded. In that case, the jury awarded millions to the three injured plaintiffs based on the defective design of this polysilicone reactor. The defendants in that case included Ethyl Corporation, and the evidence showed that they knew that this product was defective yet allowed it to be used in the plant anyway.

Later, as managing partner of a well-known Houston personal-injury boutique, Sorrels managed a team of lawyers handling hundreds of plant and explosion cases. This includes the 2005 Texas City BP refinery explosion, killing 15 workers and hundreds of others, where he sat on the steering committee on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Wrongful Death

If your family member has died as a result of a plant or chemical accident or explosion, you may be entitled to bring a wrongful death claim. That means, as a surviving spouse, parent, or child, you can sue and recover for the following: medical bills incurred before the victim passes away; funeral and burial expenses; economic damages; loss of earnings that would have been made in the future; loss of the relationship, companionship and care (loss of consortium); loss of household services; loss of inheritance; loss of services and support, such as nurture, care, education, and guidance; loss of advice and counsel; mental anguish, distress, emotional pain and torment suffered by the survivors; pain and suffering of the deceased; loss of parental consortium, including the loss of love, society, companionship, affection, solace, comfort and assistance; and punitive (or exemplary) damages.

We know that the untimely and sudden death of your loved one is a traumatic and life-altering experience, and the last thing you may be thinking about is pursuing legal action. But we want you to understand the importance of hiring a lawyer as soon as the incident occurs. It is important to have a legal representative involved in the investigation of the explosion or accident who can fight for your loved one right from the start, and who understands how to navigate through the exploratory state following the explosion, and who will make sure evidence related to the explosion or incident is preserved.

Call us or text us now, and we will guide you through this process: 713-496-1100.


Randy and the entire Sorrels Law team are ready to speak with you about your potential case resulting from a plant or refinery accident or explosion. Call for a free consultation today at: 713-496-1100

We know that incidents like this require a quick response, and a lawyer will talk to you personally on Day 1, and will guide you every step of the way. No matter what time of the day, we are always here for you.


Houston: 5300 Memorial Dr. Suite 270 Houston, TX 77007
Dallas: 3010 LBJ Fwy. Suite 1450, Dallas TX 75234
Austin: 2901 Bee Cave Road, Suite L, Austin, Texas 78746