Coffeyville Oil Spill Claims Office Set to Open FridayAug 9, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP, LLP
Starting Friday, people affected by last month’s Coffeyville Resources Refinery oil spill will have access to an office in Coffeyville, Kansas for filing legal claims. Several law firms involved in a class action lawsuit against the refinery and its owners have opened the office in an effort to reach out to Coffeyville residents affected by the Kansas oil spill.
The new office is a joint undertaking by Parker Waichman LLP, Hutton & Hutton Law Firm LLC, Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, Becnel Law Firm LLC, the Law Offices of Ronnie G, Penton and Lambert and Nelson, P.L.C. The office will open on Friday, August 10, at 1505 West 8th Street, Coffeyville, Kansas. For now, the office is scheduled to remain open through August 25. If response to the office indicates a need, the firms will consider changing the closing date. Until then, the Coffeyville office will be open every day except Sunday.
Parker Waichman LLP and the other law offices have already been retained by many Coffeyville residents and business owners who suffered losses as a result of Coffeyville Oil Spill. On July 5, 2007, the law firms filed a class action lawsuit against the owners of the Coffeyville Resources Refinery on behalf of a man who lost his home and business to the oil spill. The firms are inviting anyone who suffered damages as result of the oil spill to stop by the office once it opens for a legal consultation. The Coffeyville office can also be reached by calling 620-251-7775 or 620-251-7776.
On July 1 and July 2, 2007, more than 71,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from the Coffeyville Resources refinery. The spill occurred when Coffeyville Resources was preparing the refinery for an emergency shutdown in expectation of a record flood that had been forecasted for the area. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management said that during the flood, one storage tank continued to pour oil into a larger tank which eventually overflowed. The problem was not noticed for several hours. The state’s investigation found that a valve on the smaller tank was not closed by plant employees during the emergency shutdown, allowing the oil to escape. Due to widespread flooding that was occurring at the time of the oil spill, the crude oil reached and damaged a very large area. More than 2,500 residents and businesses were displaced by the oil slick and “toxic soup” that made its way on the Verdigris River. In excess of 200 properties have been destroyed by the oil spill.
The economic effects of oil spills can be devastating and far-reaching. Large companies, sole proprietors, and individuals alike stand to endure major economic losses when oil spills occur. Exposure to crude Oil can also cause long-term health problems. Individuals involved in the cleanup of oil spills have reported skin and respiratory problems years later. People living in the zone of an oil spill are often plagued by problems of the nervous system, blood and kidneys long after a spill has been contained. Crude oil contains numerous chemicals like benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that have been linked to cancers and birth defects.
Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the responsible party is liable for the costs associated with the containment or cleanup of the spill and any damages resulting from the spill.