"BP Texas Refinery Neighbors Seek Billions at Toxin Trial"

"BP Plc faces the first of almost 48,000 toxic exposure claims from neighbors of a Texas refinery who say they’ll give the billions of dollars in punitive damages they’re seeking to charity if they win at trial."

"The residents claim BP intentionally exposed them to cancer-causing gases for five weeks in 2010 without any warning. The four plaintiffs in the state court trial that started today in Galveston seek as much as $200,000 each in actual damages, plus $10 billion in punitive damages they said in court papers would be donated.

BP knowingly vented at least 500,000 pounds of toxic chemicals, including benzene, from a faulty refinery unit to a flare the company knew was incapable of destroying the toxins, Tony Buzbee, the residents’ lead attorney, said in a phone interview. He claims BP would have lost more than $20 million if it had shut the unit down during repairs."

Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Margaret Cronin Fisk report for Bloomberg News September 9, 2013.

Source: Bloomberg, 09/11/2013