Mitchell/Speegle v. TR International Trading Company et al

On March 15, 2018, Tri-Chem Specialty Chemicals LLC had a massive explosion in their facility in Cresson, Texas. The chemical plant purchased, blended, and resold chemicals for various customers. On this particular day, two employees were mixing a batch of sodium chlorite and water to create a sodium chlorite liquid solution. Sodium chlorite is a white crystalline powder that is not extremely flammable but can be explosive when combined with other materials and may explode when subjected to heat or fire. Some of the sources for the base chemicals were Dongying Shengya Chemical Co. Ltd., TR International Trading Company, and Access Chemicals and Services.

In the process of mixing the sodium chlorite liquid solution, some of the powdered chemicals fell on the floor. One of the workers, Dylan Mitchell, touched the lid of the sodium chlorite container, which was on the floor, with his foot, moving it slightly and causing some sparks. This caught the powdered chemical on fire, and the fire moved onto Mr. Mitchell’s legs, clothes, and hair. As the fire contacted the additional chemical, it caused a huge explosion and fire. Dylan Mitchell was killed in the explosion and fire, while Jason Speegle suffered severe burns.

Upon investigation, the sodium chlorite product, manufactured by Dongying Shengya and sold to wholesaler Access, had a defective warning label. It did not give adequate warning of the product’s dangers or instructions on how to avoid such dangers. In addition, questions were raised about the training procedures at TriChem.

Slack Davis Sanger Partner John Jose represents Mr. Speegle and the estate of Mr. Mitchell in their lawsuits in this ongoing matter.

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