Insurance Companies Owe for Plant Explosion Damages, Attorney Says

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Numerous homes and business were damaged by the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas last month. Regardless of who's to blame for the explosion, injury attorney Jeff Raizner says insurance companies still have to pay out.

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If your home or business was damaged by the blast, your insurance company owes you.

Destruction from the explosion at a major fertilizer facility two weeks ago was not limited to company employees and premises. The force of the explosion, which occurred at a West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility, damaged more than 150 buildings and killed 15 people. While the causes of the explosion remain debated, attorney Jeff Raizner, a property damage lawyer says that local businesses and homeowners should look to their insurance companies for compensation.

Investigators have not announced a cause of the accident, but an FBI spokesman said there is no evidence of criminal activity. Public records show that the facility had not been inspected by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) since 1985, at which time it was fined for improper storage and issued a citation about unsafe working conditions according to the Dallas News (5.8.13).

That's led much of the public discussion to focus on blame, but Raizner says that the ultimate cause does not affect insurance companies' obligation to policyholders.

“If your home or business was damaged by the blast, your insurance company owes you,” Raizner said. “They can't tell you have to talk to the fertilizer company. If you're insured, you're covered.”

According to Raizner, insurance companies may try to defer responsibility after a disaster in order to minimize what they pay out.

“They know that if they tell everyone it's the plant's responsibility, at least a few people will believe them and give up,” Raizner said. “But if they're convinced the plant is to blame they can file a claim of their own to recover their losses from the plant. That's irrelevant to their first duty to their customers.”

Raizner says that any property owner whose claim is denied or delayed should speak to an attorney about their legal options.

About Jeff Raizner:
Jeffrey L. Raizner is a founding partner of Doyle Raizner, a nationwide leader in property insurance law. Doyle Raizner's attorneys represent commercial and residential property owner to ensure they receive fair compensation from insurance companies. They can be contacted at:

Doyle Raizner LLP
LyondellBasell Tower
1221 McKinney Street
Suite 4100
Houston, TX 77010

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