On January 22, 2017, an explosion occurred at International Paper’s Cantonment / Pensacola area mill. It occurred around 7:40 p.m. Although the result didn’t produce any known injuries to employees or subcontractors at the paper mill, nearby residents and property were caked with what is being called “black liquor,” a tar like substance that includes wood fibers, water, pulping materials and unknown substances and chemicals. It is used in the paper-making process. The substance covered homes, vehicles and properties, and citizens became concerned when they read differing accounts of just what black liquor can do to the body. Some residents claim debris stretched as far as 10 miles from the site.
International Paper’s Response:
IP released the following statement:
“(On Sunday night, International Paper in Cantonment) experienced a manufacturing process failure that released a mixture of wood fiber, water and pulping liquor into the surrounding area. If you or your pets have had contact with the materials, please wash the affected area for 15 minutes with soap and water. If you are experiencing skin irritation or respiratory issues, please see your doctor. Avoid contact with your eyes and mouth.
For those nearby the facility, we are working with response agencies from the county and state and will have additional information as it becomes available.
If the materials have come into contact with your vehicle, please thoroughly wash your vehicle and avoid contact with the material.”
We are in the process of archiving all of the news footage. You can watch that here:
This is potentially called a “toxic tort” in the legal community.
The explosion may create a host of legal claims including:
- property damage,
- depreciation to home value
- soil damage or issues,
- property damage to vehicles,
- property damage to personal belongings, fences and pools,
- corrosion or corruption to HVAC and other home systems,
- lost profits to businesses,
- loss of income,
- damage to animals,
- medical bills,
- respiratory illnesses,
- worsening of asthma,
- and more.
Additionally, the health consequences that the explosion may cause is unknown. Company officials are doing damage control and downplaying these issues at this time. State and federal experts are also looking into the situation.
International Paper Sending Checks?
Resident are being offered payments between $500 and $5000, or more, which International Paper claims is based on neighborhood boundaries, or on a case-by-case basis. Do not sign anything or accept any payments without running it by a lawyer. We will happy look at what they are offering free of charge.
We are taking cases:
If you have damages from the International Paper explosion, give us a call. We are investigating these claims.
We need witness photos, surveillance footage and more. You can send it to us to help your neighbors help us create a good archive.
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