Some residents of Superior, Wisconsin, who were forced to evacuate their homes after a massive refinery explosion could receive a small payout as part of a lawsuit settlement.
The Duluth News Tribune reports the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit and the defendant — Superior Refining Co., operators of the Husky Energy refinery — filed a settlement agreement on June 24.
Under the agreement, Superior Refining Co. would pay those impacted $150 (up to $300 for a household), though only 5,833 people would be able to claim the funds, despite more than 20,000 adults being impacted, the paper points out.
The massive explosion at the Husky Energy refinery on April 26, 2018, shook residents' homes and prompted an 18-hour evacuation over concerns of a hydrogen fluoride leak. The initial complaint, filed in August of that year, sought economic damages for those forced to evacuate, as well as for "lost wages, disruption and inconvenience, and interference with property rights," the plaintiffs' attorney says.
Investigators determined internal wear on a valve is what set in motion the chain of events that resulted in the blaze. The video below from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board provides a deeper explanation. Thirty-six people were injured.
The settlement agreement still needs to be approved by the courts. The next court date is scheduled for July 23, 2021.