An employee of a contractor sued BP for mental anguish in connection with the 2005 explosion that killed 15 at its Texas City, TX, facility.
Before the explosion, three of the workers supervised by David Senko told him that they were considering quitting or leaving for other jobs. Senko convinced them to keep their jobs.
They died in the explosion.
Senko was not in Texas when the explosion occurred. After the incident, Senko’s supervisor asked him to return to Texas to help identify those killed.
Senko claims to have suffered mental anguish and physical injuries including anxiety, shingles, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia.
He sued BP, claiming it was liable for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He wanted damages for physical injuries and mental anguish.
BP asked that the lawsuit be thrown out.
The court agreed with BP and threw out the case. It said someone can not successfully sue unless severe emotional distress was the primary risk created by the company’s reckless conduct.
The court said Senko could not prove that emotional distress was the primary risk of BP’s negligence in maintaining the refinery.
What do you think about the court’s decision? Let us know in the Comments Box below.
Cite: Senko v. BP, Court of Appeals for the First District of TX, No. 01-08-01022-CV, 11/5/09.