The City of West filed a negligence lawsuit for the deadly West Fertilizer Plant explosion in 2013. Now, it will get ist due and will be paid more than $10 million through settlements.
The West City Council approved a $6.4 million settlement with fertilizer manufacturer CF Industries, a $3.9 million deal with El Dorado Chemical Company, and a $143,000 settlement with the plant’s owner and agricultural service company Adair Grain Inc.
The lawsuit filed by the city accused those companies of negligence in selling or distributing the agricultural grade ammonium nitrate involved in the explosion. It also alleged that the companies failed to give proper warnings about the dangers of storing and handling the product.
The defendants, on the other hand, have always claimed that they were not responsible for the explosion that happened on April 17, 2013.
Almost two years ago, in 2016, federal investigators announced that the explosion had been caused by a fire deemed to be arson. Said fire triggered a massive blast that killed 15 people, wounded more than 200 and destroyed hundreds of homes.
The explosion also hugely damaged city streets, water lines, and the city’s sewer system.
Unfortunately, the person or people responsible for the fire have never been identified and captured.
If the parties involved did not reach a settlement, a jury trial was set to start this month.
Mayor Tommy Muska expressed his pleasure for the settlement. He said in a local media interview: “I am very satisfied. It has been a long time coming.”
The lawyers representing the city who handled the litigation work for almost five years also expressed their satisfaction for the settlement, saying in a released statement that it is such a “good outcome for the community.”
It is not yet clear if the victims’ families and those who were injured from the explosion will also get money from the settlement.