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Lawsuit Filed to Determine Cause of Georgia-Pacific Plant Explosion

Contact: Allison Marble (254)-485-4865
Provost Umphrey Law Firm

BEAUMONT, TX, August 5, 2014Provost*Umphrey attorney Jane Swearingen Leger and Mike Love with Mike Love & Associates LLC have filed suit in Polk County, Texas on behalf of the family of Kenny Morris. Morris was a Georgia-Pacific employee who passed away as a result of the injuries he sustained from the plant fire that occurred in Corrigan, Texas on Saturday April 26, 2014. The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring Georgia-Pacific to provide sworn testimony about the events leading up to the April 26th incident.

A fire erupted in the plant's dust control system around 5:20 p.m. which resulted in an explosion shortly after 6 p.m. on April 26, 2014. Seven employees and one volunteer firefighter were injured. Since the accident, two of the employees have tragically passed away, and one remains hospitalized. Under threat of legal action, an agreement was reached with Georgia-Pacific to allow Provost*Umphrey's and Love's retained experts to enter the premises, investigate the scene, and preserve and document the evidence surrounding the accident. Since that time, Provost*Umphrey and Love have obtained several key documents from Georgia-Pacific but have reached an impasse. The impasse resulted from the company's refusal to provide other important documents, such as their corporate Fire Protection Manual. The suit was filed for the purpose of obtaining evidence relevant to the investigation that the company has refused to produce.

Georgia-Pacific is no stranger to workplace accidents. Just two months before the Corrigan fire, there was an explosion at the Georgia-Pacific wallboard plant outside of Lovell, Wyoming. OSHA repeatedly doles out hefty fines to Georgia-Pacific, at times in excess of $400,000.

At the Cedar Springs, Georgia paper mill, there have been multiple workplace accidents including fatalities in August 2003, April 2006, and again in October 2013. OSHA fined the paper mill $102,000 and $63,000 for the August 2003 and April 2006 incidents respectively. In March 2014, Leger obtained a landmark settlement on behalf of an employee of the Cedar Springs paper mill who suffered burns on 68% of his body, spent six months in a medically induced coma, and underwent 80 surgeries as a result of a boiler explosion in June 2006. Leger and Love believe Georgia-Pacific is not devoting adequate attention and resources to employee safety.
As the investigation continues, and litigation begins, Provost*Umphrey and Mike Love & Associates remain committed to maintaining the health and safety of workers, their families, and communities.

For fifty years, Provost*Umphrey's mission has remained to seek justice for those most in need – those who have suffered a personal injury or death due to the wrongful conduct of others. Our attorneys fight for our clients nationwide with offices in Beaumont and Houston Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. Led by Walter Umphrey, Provost*Umphrey continues to be one of the most successful trial law firms in the nation by remaining Hard-Working Lawyers for Hard-Working People .

Contact: Allison Marble