Family of Texas City Marathon worker killed in fire speaks out, files lawsuit claiming negligence

Charly Edsitty Image
Friday, May 19, 2023
Family of refinery worker speaks out, claims wrongful death in lawsuit
The family of Scott Higgins announced they're filing a lawsuit against Marathon Petroleum, claiming wrongful death and negligence in Monday's fire.

TEXAS CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- An incredibly emotional press conference was held Friday morning by the family of the worker killed in the Texas City refinery fire earlier this week.

Scott Higgins' family announced they're filing a lawsuit against Marathon Petroleum, claiming wrongful death and negligence.

Higgins was killed when a fire broke out at the refinery plant on Monday.

SEE PREVIOUS REPORT: Employee killed in Marathon Petroleum fire died from burns, smoke inhalation, medical examiner says

A report revealed that a pump leak may have led to the deadly fire, though the cause will be determined after a full investigation.

The civil lawsuit is being handled by Attorney Tony Buzbee and it claims he burned to death. The family says it has not been able to get any straight answers from the company about what exactly happened.

According to an initial report from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, it was a splitter on Ultraformer Unit #3 that developed a leak and caught on fire.

The family claims negligence on behalf of Marathon and others in failing to "properly and adequately manage, inspect, maintain, and repair" that unit and surrounding machinery.

The lawsuit is seeking inspection records, as well as names of employees who have performed maintenance on this particular unit to try and determine what did and did not happen in properly doing so.

Meanwhile, the family of Higgins says they are devastated over the loss and cannot seem to get any straight answers out of the company.

RELATED: 1 Marathon Petroleum employee dies in Texas City refinery fire, company says

One Marathon Petroleum employee has died from the fire that broke out at its Texas City refinery on Monday, the company said.

On Friday, ABC13 had the chance to hear from two of Higgins' daughters, who at times would fight back tears.

"We understood that his time was the most valuable thing that he had to give, and he gave it to the people that mattered the most to him," one of his daughters said. "Marathon has taken away my dad's ability to give us that time"

Higgins was 55 years old and had worked at the refinery for 19 years. He had no plans to retire anytime soon and his family says he was committed to working for Marathon, even though they say he did express safety concerns at the plant.

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