Seven contract workers have filed a civil lawsuit against Husky Energy and the refinery’s former owner, Calumet.
Their claim is that they were injured in the explosion at the Superior refinery in April.
The workers are suing Husky over what they call unsafe working conditions, and claim Calumet sold the refinery in an inadequate or unsafe condition, and Husky defendants "knew of the hazardous nature of the refinery."
The lawsuit specifically names Kollin Schade, the refinery manager, and John O’Brien, the safety and security manager, among others.
The plaintiffs allege they heard a "strange knocking noise", causing them and other employees to rush out of the refinery "fearing it was unsafe". They were then allegedly instructed, by defendants to return to work.
Approximately 30 to 45 minutes later, the refinery exploded, sending the plaintiffs to the ground, and "showered them with debris and shrapnel." and they were "forced to run for their lives to escape the inferno."
The plaintiffs say they suffered substantial injuries and burns, and because of that severe mental pain and anguish, and are continuing to undergo substantial medical treatment.
The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial, and damages in excess of $10,000, with no specific amount given beyond that.
The law firm representing the plaintiffs issued the following statement Thursday:
"This lawsuit is meant to help the workers injured in the Husky Energy Refinery explosion get answers regarding what went wrong, and to send a message to the industry that these types of disasters are preventable, and that there are consequences for failing to take the steps necessary to protect workers."
–Caj Boatright of Arnold & Itkin:
Husky responded with a statement of their own:
"We are cooperating fully with those agencies investigating the incident. As this matter is before the courts, it would not be appropriate to comment further."
This is the second lawsuit filed against Husky. Another lawsuit was filed by three residents claiming Husky Energy is guilty of negligence, nuisance, and strict liability for both the causes and after effects of the explosion.