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On August 25, 2023, one of the largest refineries in the US, Marathon Petroleum Refinery in Garyville, LA, caught fire, when naphtha leaked from a storage tank causing a fire to burn for hours.  As a result of the fire, dangerous toxic chemicals were emitted into the air, forcing evacuations in the Garyville and Reserve communities and closings of nearby schools and businesses. 

While chemical plants like Marathon play a critical role in our modern world, producing a wide array of essential products that fuel our economies and improve our lives, it is essential to hold them accountable for their actions, especially when their actions result in harm to individuals, communities, and the environment. 

Safety and Responsibility

Marathon maintains hazardous materials, such as Naphtha, at its refinery.  Naphtha is a class of hydrocarbon mixtures obtained from the distillation of petroleum. Ensuring accountability for Marathon will act as a strong incentive to prioritize safety measures, maintenance, and adherence to regulations. By holding Marathon responsible for its negligence, it will also motivate them to invest in safer practices, reducing the risk of future accidents.

Compensation for Victims

When incidents like this occur, it can result in severe injuries and health conditions to those affected, such as: breathing issues, headaches, nausea/diarrhea, birth defects, and increased risk of cancer. Victims and their families have the right to seek compensation for medical expenses, dislocation expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Holding Marathon accountable ensures that those individuals and communities affected receive the compensation they need to recover and move forward.

Deterrence of Irresponsible Practices

Without accountability, Marathon might be tempted to cut corners, neglect safety measures, or ignore regulations to save costs or increase production. Holding them responsible for their actions sends a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated. This deters irresponsible practices and encourages a culture of responsibility and compliance within the industry. 

Upholding the Law

Chemical plants operate under numerous regulations and standards designed to protect the health and safety of employees, nearby residents, and the environment. Holding Marathon and others accountable for violations ensures that these laws are respected and followed, promoting a culture of compliance within the industry.

Holding Marathon accountable for their actions is crucial for ensuring the safety of workers, the surrounding communities, and the environment. Accountability incentivizes safety, compensates victims, deters irresponsible practices, protects the environment, and upholds the law. In doing so, we can build a safer and more responsible chemical industry for the benefit of all.

If you or a loved one have been affected by the fire, reach out to our compassionate personal injury lawyers. Our talented team at Kiefer & Kiefer can help determine if you have a case.

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