November 6 - November 10, 2017

Specialty chemicals firm Arkema is facing a criminal investigation by the Harris County District Attorney, in addition to a number of lawsuits from neighbors and first responders in Crosby, Texas, where one of its facilities was the location of a number of explosions triggered in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in August. Do you think the company should be held liable for what happened in the wake of the hurricane?

Answers Votes
Other. (Please respond in the comments.) 80%
Yes. 10%
No. 10%

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Tagged categories: Disasters; Explosions; Fire; Good Technical Practice; North America

Comment from Tim Evans, (11/7/2017, 5:18 PM)

The question is not answerable as written. Of course Arkema has responsibility for their design and operation, but the question of "liability" depends on what they are being held liable for. They are responsible for ensuring public safety, even in the event of a prolonged power outage, and if they did not meet this responsibility, they should be held accountable. However, the mere fact that there were explosions does not indicate that they put the community in danger or caused any harm to their neighbors.

Comment from Phil Kabza, (11/8/2017, 8:30 AM)

Concur with Tim. Company should be held responsible if it is found that they created a hazardous condition, with reasonable liability for resulting proven damages to others, hurricane or no hurricane.

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (11/9/2017, 11:13 AM)

Too true, but then also enters In the concept of due diligence (did they do what would be reasonably expected to safeguard their site and surrounding area from foreseeable conditions) and those infamous words from insurance: "act of God." Considering the magnitude of Harvey, it stalling out over the area and that Texas just submitted a $61 billion recovery plan, it's hard to imagine the lawsuits getting much traction unless there was some gross negligence on the part of Arkema.

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