Residents of Apex, North Carolina (NC) recently won a lawsuit against the hazardous waste company that caused a fire that led to the evacuation of most of Apex. The Environmental Quality Industrial Services facility was ordered to pay a $7.85 million dollar settlement for medical bills, pain and suffering cause by the fire.
It all started in October 2006, when the Environmental Quality Industrial Services facility exploded in to a large structure fire and officials were forced to evacuate 17,000 people from local homes and businesses. Initially, the concern was that hazardous chemicals were in the plume of smoke over the Environmental Quality Industrial Services facility, which led to the evacuation of Apex, North Carolina (NC) until an investigation could be completed.
The investigation proved that no hazardous chemicals were contained in the smoke; and the original cause of the fire was improperly stored oxygen containers in the building. With heavy hearts and shaky nerves the residents of Apex returned home, but not before the loss of business had costs thousands of dollars for local business owners.
The residents of Apex filed the lawsuit against the Environmental Quality Industrial Services facility as well as companies that sent their oxygen tanks to the facility for both the displacement of homesteads and monetary loss caused by the fire. Senior U.S. District Judge Earl Britt signed off on the deal that will pay both business owners and local residents.
As a personal injury attorney, I have seen cases like fire at the Apex Environmental Quality Industrial Services facility where residents are suddenly evacuated from their homes with out warning. It is imperative that each of us, especially if you live close to a chemical or hazardous waste plant, to have an evacuation plan. By setting up a simple plan now, you can quickly get your family to safety in the event of a disaster.