Superior, WI (Law Firm Newswire) April 27, 2018 – When people went to work at the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin on Thursday, it was expected to be a normal workday. It was anything but a normal workday when a series of ear-splitting explosions rocked the worksite, sending up billowing, black, noxious clouds of smoke that drifted for miles. Upwards of 11 victims were injured. There were no reported fatalities. All workers and contractors on site at the refinery were accounted for.
Causing further concern for victims is the fact that the Husky Energy plant is one of approximately 50 in the U.S. that use hydrogen fluoride in processing high-octane gasoline. Hydrogen fluoride is an acid catalyst, and a federally regulated toxic chemical. They may have up to roughly 78,000 pounds of hydrogen fluoride on the premises. If the fire spreads to the hydrogen fluoride tanks, it could release extremely toxic fumes into the atmosphere for miles around the site.
There may be more victims once the full scope of this mass casualty event is assessed. “Those injured employees need to know that by law, the oil refinery or insurance company ‘must’ pay for all of your medical expenses. The law in on your side and benefits you. You also have the right to see your own doctor and not a worker’s compensation physician. Non-employees may have rights to assert against those responsible for this disaster too,” indicated Matt Lein, a respected personal injury and worker’s compensation attorney in Hayward, Wisconsin, at Lein Law Offices, who has no affiliations or ties with the oil company.
In casualty incidents involving explosions of this nature, there are three zones identified: the epicenter of the blast, the secondary perimeter and the blast periphery. These zones typically dictate what types of injuries victims may sustain. It appears that most of the injuries sustained in this blast happened in the secondary perimeter and the blast periphery. Second perimeter injuries usually see more survivors, but they may have multiple injuries. In the blast periphery, the walking wounded has psychological trauma and non-life threatening injuries.
“In Wisconsin, it is mandatory for employer’s to have worker’s compensation,” added Lein, “and it does not matter who is at fault for the injuries, worker’s compensation must cover injured workers. What you also need to know is that you should ‘not’ settle for nuisance value for any claims.” Lein Law Offices stands ready to assist any workers injured in the Husky Energy oil refinery blasts. They do not get paid unless they win the lawsuit.
Common blast injuries include:
· Burns of varying degrees
· Penetrating shrapnel injuries from flying debris
· Smoke inhalation
· Chemical burns
· Ruptured ear drums
· Ruptured eyes
· Damaged lungs
· Perforation of gallbladder, intestines
· Traumatic brain injury
· Crush injuries
· Asthma/COPD exacerbations due to toxic fumes/smoke
· Traumatic amputations
Most victims who survive an explosion have sustained secondary blast injuries, some tertiary and quaternary blast injuries. “It’s important to note that many of the blast victims in this case are likely to be approached by insurance companies to settle early and quickly. Do not sign anything or agree to a recorded interview until you speak to an experienced attorney,” said Lein. Lein Law Offices has significant experience in handling worker’s compensation cases and in dealing with insurance companies. “We get the job done,” he added.
To contact the Lein Law Offices, call 715-634-4273 at anytime. “I will personally come to your home or meet you at any location you wish, free of charge, to discuss your injury case,” said Matt Lein.