Houston attorney representing victim of West fertilizer plant explosion in lawsuit

Joshua Zarecor, 34, was left blind and burned by the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas
April 26, 2013 2:23:40 PM PDT
One of the victims injured in the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion has filed a lawsuit against the plant.

Joshua Zarecor said he is now blind and suffering from severe burns because of the blast, and we spoke with the Houston lawyer who is representing him.

The explosion at the West Fertilizer Company was more than a week and a half ago, but many of the families who lost loved ones and those injured are still learning to deal with a life that's been altered.

Zarecor, 34, was visiting a friend in the apartment complex adjacent to the fertilizer plant when the windows and walls blew out.

"The fireball actually went through the window and got him on his face," Zarecor's attorney, Mo Aziz, said. "That's what burned his face, blinding him. That's how he got injured."

The father of a three-year-old daughter was severely burned.

"Mostly his upper torso. He's got burns on his face, arms, his chest," Aziz said.

Zarecor was in ICU for about seven days and is now dealing with the realization that he is permanently blind and no longer able to work as a restaurant manager.

The blast happened April 17. At least 14 people were killed, and many of those were firefighters rushing to the scene of the initial fire. More than 100 others were injured and more than 100 homes and businesses were either leveled or damaged. The exact cause is still under investigation.

People like Zarecor, whose lives will never be the same, now are looking to hold the owner of West Fertilizer Company accountable.

"Under Texas law, refineries -- chemical plants -- are responsible for the things that they perform on their property, on their premises," Aziz said.

West Fertilizer Company did $4 million in revenue last year, which is not a lot of money when it comes to a claim like this.

We left messages with the plant ownership for comment on the lawsuit. Aziz attorney tells us the owners said they will not respond to him because the explosion is still under investigation.

Find Erik on Facebook at ABC13ErikBarajas or on Twitter at @ErikBarajas13
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