"Chalmette Refining Powder Release Prompts Lawsuit"

NEW ORLEANS -- "Reserve attorney Daniel Becnel Jr. petitioned for a class-action lawsuit against Chalmette Refining LLC in federal court Wednesday, following the release of a powdery white substance from the refinery early Monday.

Nearly 2,000 pounds of spent catalyst, a by-product of the oil refining process, fell on cars and houses across St. Bernard Parish after a power failure at the refinery at about 2 a.m. Monday.

Becnel filed the case on behalf of a named plaintiff, Lauren Stone, a St. Bernard resident, and others who were impacted by the release. The suit says the catalyst is 'toxic, noxious and harmful' and that 'the defendant knew or should have known that their equipment and the tank in question were defective and faulty.'"

Chris Kirkham reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune September 8, 2010.

Thursday, September 9, 2010