The family of a worker who died in an industrial accident at an ExxonMobil petrochemical plant in Beaumont, Texas, has filed a motion to compel discovery in the case, alleging the corporate energy giant refuses to cooperate.
According to the SE Texas Record, Hector Barron filed suit against ExxonMobil in Jefferson County, Texas, Court, May 17, 2016, seeking damages of more than $1 million for the death of his brother and coworker Miguel Barron.
The lawsuit also names AltairStrickland, an industrial engineering company that specializes in petrochemical plant turnarounds, and B&G Crane Service.
The lawsuit alleges that on May 11, 2016, Hector and Miguel, both employees of AltairStrickland, were working on a heat exchanger in ExxonMobil’s Beaumont plant during turnaround operations when a heavy pipe fell from overhead and struck Miguel in the head and neck.
According to the lawsuit, deficiencies in ExxonMobil’s emergency and rescue plan prevented onsite medics from reaching Miguel in a reasonable period of time to administer first aid.
Hector Barron’s motion is the fourth motion filed in a year in an effort to get the oil giant to cooperate in discovery, the SE Texas Record reports, citing court records.
The latest motion contends that ExxonMobil “continues to refuse to provide sufficient answers to the Barron Family’s written discovery requests.” The motion also asserts that ExxonMobil is withholding records and files related to the deadly incident.
According to the Beaumont Enterprise, turnarounds like the one the Barron brothers were performing can be extremely risky operations. “During turnarounds, units are broken down and pieces are examined to see if repairs or upgrades are needed. Turnarounds consist of work outside the scope of day-to-day processes and require an influx of workers, making the workplace more hectic than normal,” the Beaumont Enterprise reported, citing a 39-year employee of the same refinery.