The case of two former Goodyear workers injured in a June 11, 2008, synthetic rubber plant explosion will go to trial April 18 in the 190th District Court of Harris County, Texas, their attorneys said.
Raymond McInnisa former supervisor at Goodyear's Houston SR plant whose wife Gloria, also a plant supervisor, was killed in the blasthas resolved his portion of the case in a private settlement, said the attorneys, Terry Bryant and Gregg Anderson of Houston.
Maria DeLeon and Claudia Caballero were two of six workers hurt in the blast. The night before, plant workers closed an isolation valve to replace a burst rupture disk in a heat exchanger, then forgot to reopen the valve. The next morning the heat exchanger ruptured, releasing ammonia into the work area.
A January 2011 report from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) said plant management had not held a safety evacuation drill in the four years prior to the blast. Supervisors were supposed to track employees in an emergency using a computerized badge tracking system, but the computer malfunctioned that day, forcing them to generate handwritten employee lists from memory.
Because Gloria McInnis was a member of the emergency response team, her absence from the muster point did not initially seem unusual to the other supervisors, the CSB said. Her body was not found until several hours after the explosion, under a pile of debris.
Raymond McInnis filed a suit the day after the explosion, charging gross negligence, and the other injured workers soon joined. All plaintiffs have since settled except Ms. DeLeon and Ms. Caballero. the attorneys said.
A Goodyear spokesman said the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.