Update: Second lawsuit filed against West fertilizer plant

Tyler law firm files first lawsuit against West fertilizer plant

(KCEN) -- A grandmother who was injured in the West explosion has filed a lawsuit against Adair Grain, Inc, saying the company who owned the plant showed, "conscious indifference," to local residents in the way it stored and handled dangerous materials.

The lawsuit was filed in McLennan County for Bridget Bowles and her husband, Roger. It says Bridget was thrown during the explosion and broke her jaw, loosed her teeth, perforated her eardrum and caused a loss of hearing.

She was at a public park when the explosion occurred.

The Bowles home was also damaged in the blast. It has a cracked foundation as well as exterior and interior damage, according to the lawsuit.

Roger was in the home with the couple's grandchildren when the explosion happened. He says the blast lifted the roof off the house and brought ceiling debris down on them.

The lawsuit claims Adair Grain, Inc. showed negligence in safety policies, training and supervision and maintenance of the plant.

The Gibson Law Firm in Houston filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Bowles family. The firm said in a statement, "Like so many families in West, Mr. and Mrs. Bowles are struggling to balance their need to cope with historic tragedy with the practical realities of rebuilding their lives. We filed this case now to protect their rights and options for going forward. In the meantime, our law firm's investigation of this incident continues on behalf of the Bowles family and our other clients in West. We are also monitoring the ongoing state and federal investigations of the explosion and the defendants."



TYLER (KYTX) - An East Texas law firm says it has filed the first lawsuit against the West fertilizer plant that exploded last week.

Andrea Gutierrez is a single mother who lives in the apartment complex next to the fertilizer plant that exploded. She has family members here in East Texas who set her up with the Roberts and Roberts firm in Tyler.

Her attorney, Randy Roberts met with CBS 19, telling us he spent the weekend with Gutierrez and her 14-year-old son, who are picking up the pieces.

Roberts says they lost everything they own in the explosion, including their car. He says it has been a week since the explosion and the plant has not acknowledged responsibility or tried to help any of the victims affected.

Roberts says that's why he filed the lawsuit.

Gutierrez was standing outside her apartment when the explosion happened. Thankfully her son was at church and was uninjured.

"She suffered physical harm but quite frankly I'm more concerned about the emotional harm. What she saw and what she told me about, it will take her a long time to forget," Randy Roberts said.

The owner of the fertilizer plant, Donald Adair, has released a statement regarding the explosion expressing deep sympathy for those in his community affected by the explosion.

He says, "The owners and employees of Adair Grain and West Fertilizer Co. are working closely with investigating agencies. We pledge to do everything we can to understand what happened."

Right now, Gutierrez is looking for compensation for damages to help get her and her son's lives back on track.

The lawsuit asks for an about over $500,000, but no more than $1 million.


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