Houston, Texas - Williams Bailey Law Firm LLP, representing 19 employees of Bayer MaterialScience, has lodged a lawsuit against the chemical manufacturer for causing an explosion at its Baytown plant.
A Bayer spokesman said, on October 4, that "the complaint initiating the reported lawsuit has not been received by Bayer MaterialScience; until that occurs and we have time to analyse the document, we cannot comment."
The 26 Sep explosion at the toluene diisocyanate (TDI) plant in Texas injured 22 people and forced the indefinite suspension of TDI production at the facility.
"Had appropriate safety measures been in place, this explosion never would have happened," Williams Bailey lawyer Byron Buchanan said.
The law firm has claimed that the explosion occurred when TDI was mixed with orthodichlorobenzene.
One of the workers in the lawsuit, Arnulfo Cantu, is a scaffold builder who was working below the unit when it exploded and was hospitalised for burns to his head, shoulders and back.
"We also filed a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent Bayer from altering or destroying the accident scene in any way," Buchanan said.
"Mr. Cantu's and the other individuals' injuries were due entirely to Bayer's negligence; therefore, it is critical that we be given the opportunity to examine all the evidence," he added.