PRESS RELEASE I FEBRUARY 20, 2018
Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones conclude four years of litigation
WACO, Texas — The West Rest Haven nursing home, originally established in 1967 by residents of West, Texas, has approved a settlement of the lawsuit it filed against manufacturers and suppliers of agriculture grade ammonium nitrate following the fertilizer plant explosion that destroyed the skilled nursing facility on April 17, 2013.
West Rest Haven filed suit against CF Industries, El Dorado Chemical Company and International Chemical Company after the massive blast that pummeled the nursing home and displaced the entire resident population,. The lawsuit asserted these defendants were negligent in selling and/or distributing agriculture grade ammonium nitrate, failed to properly warn of the dangers associated with the handling and storage of the product, and should have never sold the ammonium nitrate to West Fertilizer. Defendants claim they did not cause harm to West Rest Haven and that they were not responsible for the explosion. The settlement reached between the defendants and West Rest Haven is for the nursing home’s uninsured and underinsured losses and damages sustained in the explosion.
Prior to the explosion, West Rest Haven was a 55,000-square- foot nursing home with 145 beds and 133 residents. Following the explosion, the residents were placed in 12 different facilities around Central Texas. Leaders of West Rest Haven immediately started working on plans and broke ground on the new center in April 2014. The new facility, which opened in August 2015, is 75,000 square feet and has 120 beds. Today, West Rest Haven serves 116 residents.
“On behalf of the board of directors and our shareholders, we would like to thank the law firm of Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones, our administrative team and wonderful staff, the community of West, our volunteers, and especially our residents and their families for all their help and patience over the last several years,” said Robby Payne, president of the board of directors at West Rest Haven, Inc. “We will continue our mission to serve the community’s senior population and take care of our residents with love and compassion, putting their needs first to the best of our ability.”
Steve Harrison, one of the lawyers representing West Rest Haven, says this settlement will help restore one of the cornerstones of the community.
“For longer than most can remember, West Rest Haven has been a ray of hope for the elderly in this area. After more than four years of litigation against the fertilizer manufacturers, we are pleased to reach this resolution,” said Harrison, who also served as chairman of the plaintiffs’ executive committee. “The explosion caused so much devastation to the West community. West Rest Haven can continue to restore the legacy that began with its founders nearly three generations ago.”
West Rest Haven was represented by Harrison, Zona Jones, Bryan Harrison and Matt Morrison of Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones. The law firm also represented 10 of the families who lost men in the explosion, more than 75 injured individuals, multiple damaged businesses, and the City of West. All of these cases have now been settled. The amounts of each settlements are confidential with the exception of the resolution reached by the City. It was approved by West City Council in January.
About Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones P.C.
Established in 1999 with law offices in Waco and Beaumont, Texas, Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm committed to getting justice for clients in Texas and throughout the United States. The firm practices in the areas of fire and explosion, catastrophic accidents, pharmaceutical litigation, motor vehicle accidents, defective medical devices, condemnation and premises liability. To learn more, please visit thetriallawyers.com.
Contact: Jill Byrd,
Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones P.C.
Jill@JillByrdPR.com / 210-501-4288