Steel erector for Fawley Refinery near Southampton, Graham Wood aged 42, has filed a personal injury compensation claim against Esso Petroleum. His claim surrounds the suffering of breathing difficulties acquired while working for the company in June of 2005.
Detailing the incident, he stated in court, that he was exposed to fumes described as a “strong and unpleasant smell” which brought about the evacuation of workers from the area where they had been working. Shortly thereafter, he, along with the other employees were moved back into the same area after no leaks were found during an investigation. Within the hour, he claimed his respiratory difficulties commenced. A mixture of hydrogen sulphide, hydrocarbons and mercaptans might have been present in the refinery at that time. He was subsequently diagnosed with Reactive Airway Dysfunctional Syndrome and asthma, requiring the use of strong inhalers, and he was generally not well enough to work. Wood is claiming £1 million in damages against Esso for loss of earnings along with what was stated as “pain and suffering”.
Esso, also known as Exxon Mobil in the UK, has denied responsibility on the basis that 30 other people present during the incident have had no similar symptoms.