City of West approves nearly $10.5M settlement in West Explosion

Posted at 1:49 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 14:49:13-05

The West City Council approved a nearly $10.5 million settlement against several manufacturers and suppliers of ammonium nitrate involved in the West Explosion litigation.

On April 17, 2013, the explosion killed 15 people, injured several others and caused damage to streets, water lines, the sewer system and other city infrastructure.

The companies included in the lawsuit are CF Industries, El Dorado Chemical Company, International Chemical Company, and Adair Grain Inc.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the City of West says the companies were negligent in selling and/or distributing the involved agriculture grade ammonium nitrate, that the companies failed to properly warn of the dangers associated with the handling and storage of the product and should never have sold the ammonium nitrate to West Fertilizer.

The City of West said the $10,443,000 settlement will be used to compensate the City for damages not covered by insurance or grants from governmental agencies. 

CF Industries will pay $6.4 million, El Dorado Chemical will pay $3.9 million, and Adair Grain, Inc will pay $143,000. International Chemical is included from the settlements with CF Industries and El Dorado Chemical. 

“The resolution brings to a conclusion more than four and a half years of litigation by the City against the fertilizer manufacturers,” Steve Harrison, one of the lawyers representing the City of West said. “This is a very good outcome for the community and we could not be more pleased for the folks of West.”

Harrison is also chairman of the plaintiff's executive committee in the West explosion litigation.

The City of West was represented by Harrison, Zona Jones, Bryan Harrison, and Matt Morrison of the Waco law firm, Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones P.C., as well as Mark Grotefeld and Pat Gareis of the Austin law firm Grotefeld Hoffman.

Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.