On Saturday, November 15, 2014, DuPont’s LaPorte chemical plant accidentally released toxic gas resulting in the death of four (4) plant workers. This tragic accident will forever affect the families, friends, and co-workers of the fallen employees, Robert Tisnado, Wade Baker, Gilbert “Gibby” Tisnado, and Crystal Rae Wise.
The Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office recently reported accidental asphyxiation as the cause of death for all four workers. The victims were exposed to the highly dangerous and toxic chemical, methyl mercaptan, without wearing full safety equipment.
Robert Tisnado died as a result of his heroic attempt to save his younger brother, Gibby Tisnado. The Tisnado brothers’ father was quoted as saying , “if you go work at a plant, you never know if you are going to come back home. … It was a freak accident. For us, it was a double whammy.”
Federal investigators from the Chemical Safety Board are investigating the accident to determine what caused the chemical leak and the procedural safeguards in place to protect DuPont’s employees. DuPont’s LaPorte chemical plant appears to be a repeat offender with regard to hazardous chemical emissions and discharges, having been cited and/or fined dozens of times over the past five (5) years by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”).
If wrongful death lawsuits are filed by the victims’ families, it may not be too long before a Harris County jury is hearing the all-too-familiar story of a corporate giant placing profits above its employees safety.