BP Settles Second Blast Victim Case

GALVESTON, Texas -- The second lawsuit to be tried that stemmed from a March 2005 explosion at BP's Texas City refinery ended in a settlement earlier this week, the Galveston County Daily News reported.

Judge Susan Criss welcomed jurors to the 212th State District Court after a long weekend by telling them their work was done, as the company and the eight victims named in the suit had settled over the weekend, the report stated.

Terms of the settlement were not released, according to the report.

"We're pleased to resolve these cases," BP spokesman Neil Chapman told the paper.

The plaintiff's attorney, Ernest Cannon, referred to the workers in the case as "a band of brothers and sisters who have stuck together." Meanwhile, one plaintiff, Richard Crofoot, told jurors the case was not about money.

"This was personal, but we were also looking for increased safety for our fellow workers," he told the Daily News.

Crofoot added he hoped the international coverage of the accident would increase safety for all industrial workers.

"We're just a small section of people who have received justice," he told the paper. "There's so many working in industry who could be affected by something like this."

Plaintiff John Estephan echoed the sentiment of safety.

"What I think about the whole thing is that BP has got to be caring more about people than just money," he told the paper. "Safety on the job should be No. 1 -- that's what I have always been taught."

The settlement represents the completion of about three-fourths of the claims BP faced because of the blasts, according to the report. About 750 cases still were pending at the time of the settlement, the report stated.

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