HOUSTON – When the Arkema criminal trial resumed weeks ago in the new setting, second floor of NRG Arena, both prosecution and defense filed motions charging each other with legal misconduct; prosecutors alleged jury tampering, the defense alleging disregard for disclosure obligations and violation of due process.
Just as flood waters receded, as Crosby residents were beginning to recover from Hurricane Harvey in late August of 2017, US 90 was shut down and over 200 residents were evacuated from their homes because it was learned that there could soon be an explosion at Arkema Chemical Plant. Trailers containing chemicals that had lost their refrigeration had reached critical temperatures and were separated from others to a nearby warehouse. When the explosion happened, fumes were emitted that hospitalized more than twenty people including first responders.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg took the unusual step to bring criminal charges against certain decision makers for Arkema. Alleging that Arkema acted recklessly through a “‘gross deviation’ from objective standards of conduct within the chemical manufacturing community.”