Whoa, this isn't going to be anywhere near enough. According to a lawyer filing suit against the owners of the Texas fertilizer plant that exploded last month, the plant only carried a $1 million liability insurance policy. The blast last month killed 14 people, injured 200 more, and destroyed blocks of nearby property. An estimate by an insurance industry group puts the damages at $100 million.
Tyler lawyer Randy C. Roberts said he and other attorneys who have filed lawsuits against West Fertilizer's owners were told Thursday that the plant carried only $1 million in liability insurance. Brook Laskey, an attorney hired by the plant's insurer to represent West Fertilizer Co., confirmed the amount Saturday in an email to The Associated Press, after the Dallas Morning News first reported it.
"The bottom line is, this lack of insurance coverage is just consistent with the overall lack of responsibility we've seen from the fertilizer plant, starting from the fact that from day one they have yet to acknowledge responsibility," Roberts said.
Roberts said he expects the plant's owner to ask a judge to divide the $1 million in insurance money among the plaintiffs, several of whom he represents, and then file for bankruptcy.
He said he wasn't surprised that the plant was carrying such a small policy.
"It's rare for Texas to require insurance for any kind of hazardous activity," he said. "We have very little oversight of hazardous activities and even less regulation."
Roberts said that lawyers will look to see what other assets the company may have, as well as search for any other responsible parties.