A 22-year-old woman whose parents were both killed in the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion that killed 15 people settled her civil lawsuit against the company on the eve of the trial.
Eva Rowe of Hornbeck, La., sought $1.2 billion in damages in her Texas state court suit against BP PLC, the U.K. energy firm, and contractor Jacobs Engineering, which employed her parents.
The explosion occurred when a piece of equipment overfilled with highly flammable liquid hydrocarbons and ignited just as another device started up. The alarms and gauges that were supposed to warn that equipment was overfilled did not work properly.
The financial terms of the settlement are confidential. However, Rowe’s attorney, Brent Coon, stressed that a portion of the settlement will be used to establish endowments and trusts at universities.
The settlement came after federal investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board said budget cuts caused a progressive safety deterioration at the refinery. BP still faces more than 100 lawsuits from people who claim they were injured or lost property in the explosion. BP also faces investigations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department.