GEISMAR — Seven Geismar-area residents have filed a lawsuit
against Honeywell, claiming they suffered “fear, fright, and
inconvenience,” according to a news report, after one of the
company's nearby plants began leaking sulfuric acid.
The plant opened in Geismar in 2013 and
produces several chemical products, including automobile refrigerant HFO-1234yf, reported a sulfuric acid leak on Aug.
13, 2016 amid severe weather conditions in Louisiana.
According to a report from Louisiana’s
KSLA TV, the class-action lawsuit was filed in September by Ozell
Scott, Savetria Martin, Josh Hall, Trent Tate, Ida Hall, Michelle
Colar and Megan Fobbs.
The news report said that the sulfuric-acid leak at the plant took
place around 5:30 p.m. Aug. 13, and for around six hours following
the incident, residents in the area were ordered to remain indoors,
keep their windows closed, and turn off their air conditioners until
the leak had been stopped.
Following the leak, the shelter was in place from Saturday night
for Geismar, the Carville area, the St. Gabriel area, and everything
south of Highway 74 in Ascension Parish for a day as emergency
workers responded to containing the leak. In a report from WAFB-TV,
inspectors gave the all-clear sign to allow thousands of residents to
open their windows and turn back on their air conditioners.
The lawsuit does not mention any physical injuries to the seven
The lawsuit alleged that Honeywell was responsible for the leak
and that several factors contributed to it, such as “failing to
properly handle and contain hazardous and harmful substance,” in
addition to asserting that ‘employing untrained or poorly trained
employees’ contributed to the leak.
WAFB-TV was alerted to the lawsuit after
receiving a subpoena on Dec. 1 from attorneys, representing the
plaintiffs and asking for copies of its news reports of the incident.
In a statement released from Honeywell to WAFB-TV, the plant
manufacturer said it responded immediately to control and put a stop
to the leak, instructing employees of the site and two neighboring
sites “to shelter in place as a precaution.” It added that it
intends to fight the lawsuit, insisting that it did not pose a threat
to people or the environment.