Practice Areas

Class Action Lawsuit BP Oil Spill

Brent Coon & Associates’ legal network employs attorneys with experience and specialization in a broad range of practice areas, including:

If you would like to know if BCA can accept your case, visit the contact us page.


Attorneys

BCA Attorneys

Brent Coon & Associates employs a uniquely qualified and diverse team of in-house and of-counsel attorneys and legal professionals all across the country. Working together as a single efficient unit, our legal team has the specialized knowledge and experience to work any type of case in any area of the country.
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Offices

Brent Coon & Associates has offices throughout the country, including Hub Offices in Beaumont and Houston, TX, Denver, CO and Los Angeles, CA. These Hub Offices, spanning all four time zones, serve as central nodes for BCA's vast legal network of associated law firms and allows BCA and its partner firms the ability to accept and try cases in any courthouse in the country. Click to view our offices >

BCA in the News

Click below to the top stories about Brent Coon and Associates. Or use the menu below to find specific articles.

Press Release: NEWS ON DUPONT GAS LEAK and FOUR FATALITIES: OSHA HAMMERS DUPONT WITH MULTIPLE CITATIONS

May 14, 2015, 6:14 pm

NEWS ON DUPONT GAS LEAK and FOUR FATALITIES: OSHA HAMMERS DUPONT WITH MULTIPLE CITATIONS
 
OSHA released a long battery of findings hammering the DuPont Chemical Plant in LaPorte Texas today, concluding a six month investigation into a chemical release of toxic methyl mercaptan that killed four workers last November.  The U.S. Government agency charged with oversight of safety and health practices in the workplace found multiple infractions of  what are generally known as Process Safety Management Rules which govern general compliance with industry standards.  In this case, the OSHA team found dozens of wide-ranging offenses,  from failure to track and document unit operation systems properly, poor training of personnel, poor oversight of personnel, poor systems of leak detection and warnings and poor maintenance of risk reduction equipment.   All of these were deemed “serious” offenses of the process safety management guidelines utilized  by the petrochemical  industry and by the federal government.
 
Exacerbating these findings was an additional finding that this incident was similar enough in nature to merit a “repeat offense” as a result of yet another fatality incident occurring only a few years prior in a West Virginia facility owned by DuPont.
 
Brent Coon, who represents the family of one of the workers killed last year, weighed in on the findings.
 
“We are pleased to see that the OSHA team conducted a solid and deliberative investigation into this incident in spite of questionable cooperation from DuPont, and was able to readily ascertain a broad pattern of unconscionable health and safety practices emanating from this facility.  We conducted an on- site inspection with professional process safety management experts shortly after the incident and the condition of the unit in question and how it had been in operation was frankly appalling.  The overall unit condition sucked. The employee training sucked.  The employee instructions and oversight sucked. The warning systems sucked.  Ironically, the only thing that didn’t suck at the time of the incident was the vacuum system, which was supposed to pull toxic air from a leak or release out of the building. Inexplicably, DuPont had their crews working in this high risk area with those vacuum or fan systems COMPLETELY out of commission.   These safety features are generally considered “system critical equipment”, and the unit should not have been in operation at all while they were down.  As has almost always been the case every time there has been a fatality at one of our refineries or chemical plants, management made a bad decision in knowingly putting workers in harm’s way so that they would continue to maximize the profitability of their facility.”
 
Although these 11 citations include multiple additional itemized violations, the total fine for all of them is less than $100,000.00.     $35,000 attaches just to the “same or similar” repeat offense.
 
“Unfortunately, OSHA was not designed as an agency to “punish” wrongdoers who violate the law.  Rather, it is an oversight agency with more involvement on the occasional “inspections” and walkthroughs with facility owners to point out areas of safety concern and improvement.  The agency has practically no capability from a staffing standpoint to conduct comprehensive plant inspections for process safety management or infrastructure issues. Instead, the agency allows most major facilities to “self-report” through a program they call the Voluntary Protection Program, VPP.  This, in essence, puts the fox in charge of the hen house and is really no different than if the state got rid of the highway patrol and just asked citizens to send a check in whenever they decided to speed or run a red light”,  says Coon. 
 
 Even a big handful of serious violation citations to a company like DuPont, totaling less than $100,000,  is scarcely   enough to result in an epiphany and sudden change in the way DuPont operates.
 
“Management will always make shortsighted and high risk decisions to keep everything running, even if safety systems are not operating, so that they look good on paper at bonus and promotion time”.  The worst thing that can happen is that something blows up and kills people who they rarely personally know or consider “friends”.   There is little respect for the rule of law, the rule of man, the regulations set by the industry, the government or even the companies themselves.   Until the rules of engagement change, and companies are subject to fines that truly hurt their pocketbook, and until managers who make these decisions are PERSONALLY AND CRIMINALLY accountable, little will change”.  
 
DuPont is yet another of the big talkers who spend an inordinate amount of their time and marketing speed on false promotion that they are “safety first”.   DuPont is really no different than most of their competitors in this business.  They are highly adverse to appropriate levels of reinvestment in the infrastructure of the facilities or assets, and the same goes for adequate manpower, training, and re-training.   All of that expense cuts into the ROI measurements and industry barometers for rankings in the Solomon Indices.   Everyone these days is pushing every unit as hard as they can to maximize profits and stay at the top of the rankings. What it is in reality doing is pushing the units to failure.  Unless something changes, and changes drastically, the band aid approach to keeping many of these old units running will continue to result in needless fatalities to workers, and potentially to others in the zone of danger, including adjacent residential and commercial neighbors.  


About Brent Coon & Associates:
 
Brent Coon & Associates was founded in 2001.  Today, with offices around the country, it is one of the largest trial law firms in the nation and the epitome of the 21st century law practice. Brent Coon & Associates employs a full complement of aggressive litigators with solid experience in individual and complex multi-party, occupational/environmental, health and personal injury cases. Staff resources include in house software programmers and Information Technology teams necessary in this age of high end litigation. The majority of the firm’s cases are referred from attorneys who have confidence in the firm’s integrity, expertise, success rate and solid work ethic. BCA has a well proven track record for handling complex, multi-party cases, with an emphasis on occupational and environmental law, business litigation and personal injury practice. In only the first decade of operations, the firm has been retained by tens of thousands of Plaintiffs and has recovered over a billion dollars in settlements and trials.
 
BCA is a public policy firm and has worked with numerous state and federal investigative agencies, most notably in the 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion which resulted in the successful resolution of hundreds of civil cases, a criminal plea agreement in working with the Department of Justice, numerous safety related reforms across the petrochemical industry and over $40,000,000.00 dollars dedicated to landmark safety programs and advancements in industrial health care.
 
The firm and founder have been repeatedly recognized by most leading journals and legal associations including Texas Lawyer Litigation Department of the Year (2013); Forbes "Lawyer of the Month"; MTMP "Clarence Darrow Award"; Texas Monthly Magazine "Texas Super Lawyers" (2007-2013); “Best Lawyers in America"; Lawdragon "; "500 Leading Plaintiff Lawyers in America"; American Association of Justice "Stephen Sharp Public Service Award" and many others.
 
BCA also has broad media credentials including appearances and interviews with CBS 60 Minutes, BBC, National Geographic, CNN, Reuters, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, USA Today, Business Week, The Washington Post, The London Times, The Houston Chronicle, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Reports, Agence France Presse, The Associated Press, Newsweek, The National Law Journal, Texas Monthly, Esquire Magazine, Anderson Cooper, CBS Evening News, ABC News, NBC Evening News, Fox News, PBS, MSNBC, The Ed Shultz Show, The Huffington Post, The American Lawyer and numerous others.

BCA in the News

Brent Coon in the News

Check out the latest news
and developments relating to BCA.

Press Release: NEWS ON DUPONT GAS LEAK and FOUR FATALITIES: OSHA HAMMERS DUPONT WITH MULTIPLE CITATIONS

May 14, 2015, 6:14 pm

NEWS ON DUPONT GAS LEAK and FOUR FATALITIES: OSHA HAMMERS DUPONT WITH MULTIPLE CITATIONS
 
OSHA released a long battery of findings hammering the DuPont Chemical Plant in LaPorte Texas today, concluding a six month investigation into a chemical release of toxic methyl mercaptan that killed four workers last November.  The U.S. Government agency charged with oversight of safety and health practices in the workplace found multiple infractions of  what are generally known as Process Safety Management Rules which govern general compliance with industry standards.  In this case, the OSHA team found dozens of wide-ranging offenses,  from failure to track and document unit operation systems properly, poor training of personnel, poor oversight of personnel, poor systems of leak detection and warnings and poor maintenance of risk reduction equipment.   All of these were deemed “serious” offenses of the process safety management guidelines utilized  by the petrochemical  industry and by the federal government.
 
Exacerbating these findings was an additional finding that this incident was similar enough in nature to merit a “repeat offense” as a result of yet another fatality incident occurring only a few years prior in a West Virginia facility owned by DuPont.
 
Brent Coon, who represents the family of one of the workers killed last year, weighed in on the findings.
 
“We are pleased to see that the OSHA team conducted a solid and deliberative investigation into this incident in spite of questionable cooperation from DuPont, and was able to readily ascertain a broad pattern of unconscionable health and safety practices emanating from this facility.  We conducted an on- site inspection with professional process safety management experts shortly after the incident and the condition of the unit in question and how it had been in operation was frankly appalling.  The overall unit condition sucked. The employee training sucked.  The employee instructions and oversight sucked. The warning systems sucked.  Ironically, the only thing that didn’t suck at the time of the incident was the vacuum system, which was supposed to pull toxic air from a leak or release out of the building. Inexplicably, DuPont had their crews working in this high risk area with those vacuum or fan systems COMPLETELY out of commission.   These safety features are generally considered “system critical equipment”, and the unit should not have been in operation at all while they were down.  As has almost always been the case every time there has been a fatality at one of our refineries or chemical plants, management made a bad decision in knowingly putting workers in harm’s way so that they would continue to maximize the profitability of their facility.”
 
Although these 11 citations include multiple additional itemized violations, the total fine for all of them is less than $100,000.00.     $35,000 attaches just to the “same or similar” repeat offense.
 
“Unfortunately, OSHA was not designed as an agency to “punish” wrongdoers who violate the law.  Rather, it is an oversight agency with more involvement on the occasional “inspections” and walkthroughs with facility owners to point out areas of safety concern and improvement.  The agency has practically no capability from a staffing standpoint to conduct comprehensive plant inspections for process safety management or infrastructure issues. Instead, the agency allows most major facilities to “self-report” through a program they call the Voluntary Protection Program, VPP.  This, in essence, puts the fox in charge of the hen house and is really no different than if the state got rid of the highway patrol and just asked citizens to send a check in whenever they decided to speed or run a red light”,  says Coon. 
 
 Even a big handful of serious violation citations to a company like DuPont, totaling less than $100,000,  is scarcely   enough to result in an epiphany and sudden change in the way DuPont operates.
 
“Management will always make shortsighted and high risk decisions to keep everything running, even if safety systems are not operating, so that they look good on paper at bonus and promotion time”.  The worst thing that can happen is that something blows up and kills people who they rarely personally know or consider “friends”.   There is little respect for the rule of law, the rule of man, the regulations set by the industry, the government or even the companies themselves.   Until the rules of engagement change, and companies are subject to fines that truly hurt their pocketbook, and until managers who make these decisions are PERSONALLY AND CRIMINALLY accountable, little will change”.  
 
DuPont is yet another of the big talkers who spend an inordinate amount of their time and marketing speed on false promotion that they are “safety first”.   DuPont is really no different than most of their competitors in this business.  They are highly adverse to appropriate levels of reinvestment in the infrastructure of the facilities or assets, and the same goes for adequate manpower, training, and re-training.   All of that expense cuts into the ROI measurements and industry barometers for rankings in the Solomon Indices.   Everyone these days is pushing every unit as hard as they can to maximize profits and stay at the top of the rankings. What it is in reality doing is pushing the units to failure.  Unless something changes, and changes drastically, the band aid approach to keeping many of these old units running will continue to result in needless fatalities to workers, and potentially to others in the zone of danger, including adjacent residential and commercial neighbors.  


About Brent Coon & Associates:
 
Brent Coon & Associates was founded in 2001.  Today, with offices around the country, it is one of the largest trial law firms in the nation and the epitome of the 21st century law practice. Brent Coon & Associates employs a full complement of aggressive litigators with solid experience in individual and complex multi-party, occupational/environmental, health and personal injury cases. Staff resources include in house software programmers and Information Technology teams necessary in this age of high end litigation. The majority of the firm’s cases are referred from attorneys who have confidence in the firm’s integrity, expertise, success rate and solid work ethic. BCA has a well proven track record for handling complex, multi-party cases, with an emphasis on occupational and environmental law, business litigation and personal injury practice. In only the first decade of operations, the firm has been retained by tens of thousands of Plaintiffs and has recovered over a billion dollars in settlements and trials.
 
BCA is a public policy firm and has worked with numerous state and federal investigative agencies, most notably in the 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion which resulted in the successful resolution of hundreds of civil cases, a criminal plea agreement in working with the Department of Justice, numerous safety related reforms across the petrochemical industry and over $40,000,000.00 dollars dedicated to landmark safety programs and advancements in industrial health care.
 
The firm and founder have been repeatedly recognized by most leading journals and legal associations including Texas Lawyer Litigation Department of the Year (2013); Forbes "Lawyer of the Month"; MTMP "Clarence Darrow Award"; Texas Monthly Magazine "Texas Super Lawyers" (2007-2013); “Best Lawyers in America"; Lawdragon "; "500 Leading Plaintiff Lawyers in America"; American Association of Justice "Stephen Sharp Public Service Award" and many others.
 
BCA also has broad media credentials including appearances and interviews with CBS 60 Minutes, BBC, National Geographic, CNN, Reuters, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, USA Today, Business Week, The Washington Post, The London Times, The Houston Chronicle, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Reports, Agence France Presse, The Associated Press, Newsweek, The National Law Journal, Texas Monthly, Esquire Magazine, Anderson Cooper, CBS Evening News, ABC News, NBC Evening News, Fox News, PBS, MSNBC, The Ed Shultz Show, The Huffington Post, The American Lawyer and numerous others.


Other BCA Websites
Brent Coon Websites

BCA has created these dedicated websites for our prospective clients.

The History of Asbestos
America's workers are suffering from number of asbestos related diseases because of corporate greed. Watch the documentary now.

Lung Cancer Fact
Lung Cancer Fact is dedicated to providing you with the lung cancer causes, lung cancer types, and lung cancer facts.

Gulf Coast Disaster
A resource dedicated to those impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Explosion

FELA 411
Provides railroad workers with extensive information about their legal rights and the proper process of filing a FELA claim after suffering an injury on the job.

Texas City Explosion
View evidence, video and declassified documents as they are released stemming from the BP Texas City Explosion.

BCA Mortgage Fraud
The mortgage industry has recently reached a settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve that created a multi-billion dollar fund to pay damages to victims of mortgage fraud. BCA is fighting to undo the wrongs, keeping people in their homes and getting a recovery for those who were cheated.

Defective Guardrail Lawsuits
BCA is investigating accident lawsuits regarding defective guardrails in which Trinity Industries used cost cutting measures to risk people's lives. A recent whistleblower lawsuit shows ties between defective guardrails to an increase chance of injury and death.

BCA Testosterone Lawsuits
BCA is investigating Low T or Testosterone Therapy products Lawsuits. Studies have linked products like AndroGel to an increased risks of Heart Attack and Strokes

GM Recall Lawsuits
BCA is investigating General Motors Recall lawsuits involving the mass recall of vehicles due to faulty ignitions.

Cell Phone Cancer Lawsuits
BCA is investigating Cell Phone Lawsuits after studied link cell phone use to an increased risk of Cancer.

Petrochemical Law
When it comes to Petrochemical Law, we are the experts. Nationally known, a partner with the US Government, turned to by the media, trusted by the labor organizations.

Porter Ranch Gas Leak Lawsuits
BCA is investigating loss of revene lawsuits for local businesses due to the Porter Ranch Gas Leak.

BCA Business Services
Brent Coon and Associates wants to be your go-to law plaintiff law firm for any business related litigation needs your company may be facing.

BCA Alternative Dispute Resolution
BCA now offers high end mediation and arbitration as part of our dispute resolutions services.
A website created for the press to follow all the latest developments in BCA vs. BP.

National Attorney Network
This website is a service for our referring counsel designed to assist in the client retaining process.

Sunoco Fire Lawsuit
A Legal Resource Dedicated to the Victims of the Sunoco Explosion Tragedy

Flight Attorney
BCA's Aviation Law Focus has a proven track record for handling complex, multi-party aviation cases and claims.

Auto Rollover
The team at Brent Coon and Associates knows when a vehicle rollover or the resulting injury is caused by the shortcomings in the design of the vehicle.

Chamber Sentry
The Institute for Legal Reform is trying to close your court house doors. Learn what you can do to help.

Remember the 15
Join BCA as we push a landmark bill through the Texas House & Senate.

My Safety Rights
A website created and dedicated to helping protect women's safety rights.

PharmAttorney.com
Legal Rights resources for those who have suffered from dangerous pharmaceutical drugs including Xarelto Lawsuits .

Crane Failures
Looking at the reasons behind the recent surge in Crane accidents including news stories, statistics and commentary from industry experts.

Pillot Building
A website dedicated to the historic Pillot Building located in the heart of downtown Houston. Its sophisticated design and ambiance makes it the perfect place to host meetings, fundraisers and celebrations.

Top Maritime Lawyers
Learn more about The Jones Act and Maritime & Admiralty Law from our team of attorneys.

BCA Biker Rights
BCA's Biking community website. Find legal resources related to motorcycle enthusiasts.

IVC Filter Lawsuits
There have been recent studies that suggest that IVC Filters which are used to prevent pulmonary embolism are breaking have shards of metal travel throughout the body at an alarming rate. Learn if you qualify for an IVC Filter Lawsuit.



BCA Community Involvement
Charity Work Brent Coon

BCA has created this section of our website to acknowledge the tremendous effort on behalf of our attorneys and employees in support of national and local charities. Click for BCA Charities >

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