Richmond sues Chevron Corp for willful negligence in last year's refinery fire

August 3
5:52 AM 2013

Richmond, a city in Northern California, filed a lawsuit against Chevron Corp over a refinery fire that occurred in August 6 last year. City officials sought unspecified damages over the fire which started because of a rupture in the refinery's pipeline. The fire and the smoke cloud that followed injured at least 15,000 people. The 39-page complaint was filed in the Contra Costa Superior Court.

The complaint alleged that safety was sacrificed over profits as Chevron did not heed repeated warnings that the pipe had already corroded and did not immediately carry out inspections and repairs. One of Richmond City's lawyers, Frank Pitre, said the lawsuit does not only seek damages. "The lawsuit seeks damages for the harm caused to the city of Richmond and its community but more importantly is designed to make sure that Chevron changes its corporate culture and makes sure the same thing doesn't happen again," he explained. Chevron said it had already processed more than 23,300 claims and paid a total of USD 10 million.

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