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How to file your ITC Deer Park fire claim

If you were personally injured by the ITC Deer Park fire or if you have a business claim, do not file your claim with ITC. 

ITC has language buried in their claim form that means you’re potentially signing away your legal rights. Page four of their claim forms says that anyone who receives any compensation (even a penny) from ITC waives their right to be compensated for their losses. That means you’d be permanently prevented from holding the company responsible for any future claims you may have. If you’re filing a personal injury claim, that could mean if you get diagnosed with cancer or a serious respiratory issue because the company exposed you to toxic chemicals, you wouldn’t be able to file a lawsuit. Same goes for business claims. 

Get your questions answered about your legal rights and options. When you consult our team of Board Certified attorneys about your Deer Park fire claim, we will answer all your questions, help you understand all your legal options, and help you make an informed decision about your next steps. 

How to file your ITC Deer Park fire claim

If you were personally injured by the ITC Deer Park fire or if you have a business claim, do not file your claim with ITC. 

ITC has language buried in their claim form that means you’re potentially signing away your legal rights. Page four of their claim forms says that anyone who receives any compensation (even a penny) from ITC waives their right to be compensated for their losses. That means you’d be permanently prevented from holding the company responsible for any future claims you may have. If you’re filing a personal injury claim, that could mean if you get diagnosed with cancer or a serious respiratory issue because the company exposed you to toxic chemicals, you wouldn’t be able to file a lawsuit. Same goes for business claims. 

Get your questions answered about your legal rights and options. When you consult our team of Board Certified attorneys about your Deer Park fire claim, we will answer all your questions, help you understand all your legal options, and help you make an informed decision about your next steps. 

Environmental and health impacts from Deer Park fire remain unclear

The Intercontinental Terminals (ITC) petrochemical plant consists of over 240 storage tanks for chemicals. The company says that xylene, naphtha, and toluene were in the tanks that caught fire. Benzene has been detected on at least one occasion by air monitors. These chemicals are dangerous if ingested or breathed in.

Shelter-in-Place issued for communities, section of the Houston Ship Channel closed because of the Deer Park fire

Multiple shelter-in-place warnings have been issued since the Deer Park fire began on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17, 2019), affecting people’s health as well as business activity in the area. The timeline of events has caused serious concerns over the impact this fire will have on Houstonians’ health and our economy. 

Environment Texas told the press that the Deer Park fire had already released 3.1 million pounds of unauthorized emissions by Tuesday, March 19. 

A shelter-in-place for Deer Park and Galena Park was lifted on Thursday, March 21, after concerns over air quality. Officials were concerned about levels of benzene and other volatile organic compounds within city limits. A second shelter-in-place was issued on Friday, March 22, by the Intercontinental Terminal Company for its industrial neighbors and the San Jacinto Texas State Historic Site after a dike wall containing benzene partially collapsed

The Houston Ship Channel announced Friday they were closed from Tucker Bayou to Light 116 due to pollution from the fire.

Nearby plant workers and Houston residents report breathing problems, itchy eyes, burning throats, headaches, and nose bleeds among other symptoms consistent with respiratory exposure to these chemicals. Officials urge people to go to the Emergency Room or to a doctor right away if they experience any of these symptoms. 

ITC has history of toxic environmental contamination

The Intercontinental Terminal Company has a history of toxic environmental contamination. They are currently being sued by their former hazardous waste specialist in a federal lawsuit. The company is accused of dumping hazardous waste into flood waters during Harvey. This dumping was allegedly done to save the company millions of dollars. 

Harvey was not the company’s first foray into environmental pollution or safety violations. Since 2003, the company has had at least 39 unauthorized air releases

ITC has been out of compliance with the Clean Air Act for nine of past 12 quarters. This includes a 2016 cyanide release into the San Jacinto River basin that was 10 times the legal limit. 

Since 2009, the company has paid more than $38,000 in fines for environmental infractions. 

In an article titled, “Avoidable events led to violations at ITC, company responsible for Deer Park fire,” Click2Houston reports that the company was also fined in 2008 when a relief valve blew off Tank 50-2. 6,745 pounds of unauthorized 1, 3 butadiene, a hazardous air pollutant, were released into the atmosphere due to the failure to prevent an increase in pressure. The Commission on Environmental Quality said ITC was fined over this event because the emissions event was “avoidable by better operational practices.”

Again in 2009, ITC was fined. The company failed to “prevent the overloading of a railcar resulting in the unauthorized release of 1,452 pounds of toluene, a hazardous air pollutant, during a four-hour emissions event.” Officials said this event was also avoidable – an operator failed to tighten a bolt on a hatch and left the area during loading.

ITC stores petrochemicals for companies such as Chevron, Phillips 66 and the Exxon Chemical Company. 

How to file a personal injury claim against ITC

ITC is telling people to file a “claim” on their website if they have experienced health issues because of exposure to toxic chemicals from the fire. They do not have your interests at heart. 

Exposure to these toxic chemicals, especially benzene, can cause cancer or other serious, chronic respiratory illnesses months or even years from now. If you go through ITC’s “claim system” and accept any compensation from them, you will be prevented from being able to file a lawsuit against them for your future medical bills. 

That’s why we recommend you consult an attorney before you submit any claim or sign any paperwork from ITC. Make sure your legal rights are protected. Our goal is to get you the compensation you deserve for all of your injuries caused by ITC’s failure to keep you safe.

Respiratory illnesses and cancer caused by benzene exposure can seriously impact your life and even be fatal. We have successfully handled benzene exposure cases as well helped hundreds of Texans with other toxic exposure cases, including the Benzene leak from the Texas City British Petroleum refinery that occurred over 40 days in April and May of 2010. 

If you have a serious medical condition caused by exposure to the toxic chemicals from this fire, acute aggravation of bronchitis or asthma, acute aggravation of COPD or other respiratory diseases and have seen a doctor about them, consult our team right away. 

How to file a business claim against ITC

ITC is also telling businesses to file a “claim” on their website if they have experienced financial losses because of the fire.

Businesses that have suffered interruption of service, loss of contracts, loss of income, and other loss of business that can be proved have potentially valuable claims against ITC. 

Reports of toxic PFAS in firefighting foam entering the Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship channel, in addition to as-of-yet unknown fluid from the Deer Park facility, trouble business owners and local fisherman. While officials and watchdog groups investigate the toxicity of the contaminants, the seafood industry is troubled by contamination. As is the Sierra Club. Their Gulf Coast Organizer, Brian Parras reports, “PFAS is incredibly toxic. Once it enters an environment, fish, shrimp, and other seafood will be contaminated. This will impact the local seafood industry.”

Fisherman, shrimpers, and other local businesses hurt by the contamination from the Deer Park fire should consult an attorney as soon as possible. 

As with injury claims, if you go through ITC’s “claim system” and accept any compensation from them, you will be prevented from being able to file a lawsuit against them for any future losses caused by ITC’s safety failures. 

Consult an attorney before you submit any claim or sign any paperwork from ITC. Make sure your legal rights are protected. Make sure your business is protected. Our goal is to get the compensation you deserve for all of your injuries caused by ITC’s failure to keep you safe.

How to file property damage claims against ITC

ITC is also telling businesses to file a “claim” on their website if they have experienced financial losses because of the fire.

Businesses with  If you go through ITC’s “claim system” and accept any compensation from them, you will be prevented from being able to file a lawsuit against them for your future medical bills. 

That’s why we recommend you consult an attorney before you submit any claim or sign any paperwork from ITC. Make sure your legal rights are protected. Our goal is to get the compensation you deserve for all of your injuries caused by ITC’s failure to keep you safe.

Property damage due to toxic chemicals, smoke, and other factors can be costly to not on your health, but your business as well. Being shut down due to the fire can affect productivity and cost you, at a minimum, thousands of dollars. We have successfully handled benzene exposure cases as well helped hundreds of Texans with other toxic exposure cases, including the Benzene leak from the Texas City British Petroleum refinery that occurred over 40 days in April and May of 2010.

If you have developed a serious medical condition, experienced a financial loss, or had property damage because of the ITC Deer Park Fire, time is not on your side.

Before you sign anything, make sure your legal rights are protected.
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