Lawsuit filed over chemical release at Chalmette plant

By Michelle Massey | Nov 23, 2010

Di Leo

An Orleans Parish family is suing a Chalmette refinery for allegedly releasing chemicals that caused them health problems and property damage.

Jerome B. Landry and Brandi Landry, individually and on behalf of their minor child, filed suit against Chalmette Refining on Oct. 7 in St. Bernard Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Nov. 15.

According to the lawsuit, the defendant negligently released an unauthorized 2,000 pounds of white powdery substance called spent catalyst on Sept. 6. The chemicals covered the plaintiffs' property and their automobiles.

The lawsuit states a second chemical release occurred on Oct. 5 when the defendant released an unauthorized and undetermined amount of hydrogen sulfide.

The family states the chemicals have caused burning of the eyes and skin, sore throat, burning in the nose and eyes, and headaches.

The defendant is accused of breaching its duty to prevent the exposure of the plaintiffs and their property and for breaching the duty of care by operating and managing the plant in such as manner as to negligently cause, permit or allow the continuing release of toxic and harmful substances.

Causes of action filed against the defendant include gross negligence, wantonness, trespass, nuisance and strict liability.

The family is seeking damages for personal injury, emotional distress, anxiety, mental anguish, property damages, loss of income and loss of earning capacity, punitive damages, statutory damages, court costs and interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by New Orleans attorneys Gregory P. Di Leo and Jennifer B. Eagan.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-04329

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