Worker Falls into Vat of Chemicals; Edwards Proves Gross Negligence

Refinery worker Rogelio Benavides was plunged into a vat of chemicals when the tank lid he was standing on suddenly collapsed. We sued American Chrome & Chemical, showing evidence the company knew the tank lid was condemned when they sent Rogelio to work on it. The company settled the lawsuit after a jury found the company negligent and awarded $25 million to Rogelio’s widow and two young children.


It was the stuff of nightmares. A plant worker was working as a shift operator for American Chrome & Chemical when the tank lid he was standing on suddenly collapsed, plunging him into a vat of caustic chemicals. He died in the tank.

His death left his widow and two young children devastated. They wanted to know what happened, so they contacted the Edwards Law Firm. The firm’s subsequent investigation showed the company knew the top of the tank was condemned when they sent this man to work on it. Jurors found the company was guilty of gross negligence and awarded punitive damages to the family.

Before the court could enter a judgment on the jury’s verdict, the company settled. We joined with the client to establish a $1 million endowed chair in industrial safety at Texas A & M’s Corpus Christi campus, which is still helping to make workers safer today.